Ilene H. Rudman: Sleep

For years I don’t try. Round each
day stooped with the lack of it. Pillows

watch me not trying. Attitude matters
little. Prayer is useless. I know there are

decisions to be made. Should the pillows
be recovered?  Should the clock’s hands be  

unwound? Oh, if only I could
recover time. Reconfigure its formula.


The sleep experts use electrodes to measure. Suggest
ear foam to block sound. Eye shades to block light.

There are tiny pills to break in two.
Things to avoid in the afternoon. Things to do.

Sometimes days pass unnoticed. Sometimes
nights. Time is running on its own

abbreviated schedule. Hurry says the clock.


But no matter how hard I try
I can’t recover what’s lost

between dusk and dawn. The figures never
add up. My pillows nod, taking the brunt

tossing and turning as the clock’s
cruel hands go round.

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