Nocturne

This midnight restlessness of mind
that drives me room to room
is once again awake:
when all the world is dark and dreaming
it drives me softly,
something seeking…

A child in the window frame
gazing out on night-times’s day,
held in thrall
by lunar light
that casts the night-lands
soft and fey…

A girl enwrapped in arms,
entranced,
over moths
that dash and dance
about the silent night-light in the hall…
our fascination
for the solitary spot
of misplaced sunlight
shared…
It is our secret,
the moths’ and mine…
Yet tensed against
the sudden gaping door,
harsh light
indignant questions
and I answerless,
will be cast back
aggrieved,
ashamed,
alone
to fade into the heavy dark
that holds no sleep nor magic
nor any ease of mind…

The years of passing childhood,
the girl approaching womanhood
enduring countless days
beneath the caustic eyes
of the ones who criticize,
who daily torment and despise…
The one night’s daring
loud despair
replied to with
two aspirins’ warmest love…
I could not tell them
when they finally came
where the real pain lay…


Now, when I, restless,
rise and roam from room to room,
I know the one who sleeps behind me
neither questions nor condemns
My wanderings are mine, again,
my wonderings
that will come when they will…
and in all the hours of darkness
the nightlight burns as brightly
as any dancing moth could ask.

1975

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