The Elusive Thing That Is Sleep
Sleep is a petulant child.
He sits in the corner with his jacks
and no amount of begging and cajoling
will convince him to let me play.
I listen to him chatter
and bounce his ball all night
but none of this lulls me to sleep.
I see him from behind my shuttered eyes
as he dances around the room—
a shadow I wish would overtake me.
Sometimes, I make it to that place
in between conscious and unconscious
and he bolts. I jerk, flail, awake again,
left to stare at the ceiling.
I watch the clock as the minutes pile up,
turn to hours.
It’s 4 a.m. and he’s quiet now.
I look for him hoping he’s had a change of heart
only to find him curled up under his blanket
in the darkest corner of the room.