Ilene H. Rudman
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.
Of course you know that
snow and riverbeds and tears
left out too long do dry up
and that if you choose
to cuddle down and snuggle
up between sheets they
might fill with the sounds
of night and rest stops of day
and the music might come
to a full stop so of course
you might ask will I measure
up in the morning? Will
my tears make my pillows
sad my dear sad pillows?
Did my lines run over
the page of your songs
last the night? Never
before has night
promised music that
could last the day.
Ilene H. Rudman
Ilene H. Rudman is a career counselor, psychotherapist and coach in private practice just outside Boston. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including: the Comstock Review, CALYX, A Journal of Art and Literature by Women, Crab Creek Review, Passengers, the anthology Kind of Hurricane Press, Apeiron Review and An Anthology of New England Writers. Her manuscript, Staying The Night, was selected as a finalist in the 2019 Comstock Review’s Jessie Bryce Niles Chapbook Contest; and will be published by Finishing Line Press later this fall. Much of Rudman’s poetry grapples with fear of real and anticipatory loss. Sometimes she can only kneel in prayer. Other times, humor seems her best antidote.