Spies by Frank H. Coons

Again the dream
melds facets of real
& unreal with colors of ochre
and starfish-orange
we are on a jagged beach
bordered with dense trees
maybe the Delaware Capes
or Penobscot Bay & lighting
a small stick fire & wearing
animal skin coats
waiting for someone important
for whom we have leather bags
full of old coins and a note
written in code
when you nudge me because
I’m snoring
just as I realize it’s George
Washington himself we’re
expecting on the still
minimally occupied west bank
of the lower Hudson
across from which there are
more Tories than revolutionaries
all because I have been reading
Chernow’s Washington before bed
which has seeped into this
almost sleep & you and I
are spies for the rebel army
in some danger yet willing
to help the famous
general but just as he appears
through the river mist
with his crude wooden armada
the alarm rings spoiling
our cover and chance to help
the new republic
yet I rise with an air
of self-importance
and a sly nod to those who
can’t recognize the art
of my subterfuge