Adam Meyers

Sleepless Song

I lie awake at night,
and I hear mice racing across the attic,
insects climbing up the walls,
but, save for those somnolent symphonies,

Then, the world shakes as the handsome oak grandfather clock,
which anchors the foyer with its sentinel stature,
chimes its midnight song,
a ballad for insomniacs,
a call that echoes through the halls of time.

Slowly, I slip into a world of fantasy,
but down the hall,
my mother hacks up black ash,
and breaks sleep’s enchanting spell.

I turn my pillow over to the other side,
the side that cools and soothes my aching head.
I try shutting my eyes,
but darkness envelops them only when shut,
not open.

Again, the gorgeous clock’s song travels across time,
ordering all citizens to shut down for the night.
I must fulfill my duty and oblige this order
as it beckons me to slumber.

Just as I am about to reach salvation –
the cat knocks a book off my desk,
clattering to the floor with sound amplified one thousand times.
He vaults into the hallway, taking with him any hope of peace.

I glance out the window and see rain gently falling,
so I expect the smooth rain to pound the roof and cleanse the earth.
But I hear nothing.

The ornate clock perfects precision
as it once again reverberates through the somber house
and rattles the living,
even as it this time successfully seduces me to sleep.

As a last resort, I swallow a sleeping pill,
And I escape society as I finally go to sleep.


Copyright 2002-2008 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2008 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.