They’re all hiding tonight
Behind the couch
under the bed
popping out momentarily
They all have something to say
But whisper it so I cannot hear
I strain, cupping my ears
As they parade through my psyche.
Old lovers and new
Lay on the pillows next to me
Changing from one to the other
Trying to make me remember
Something I want to forget
Or something I never knew
I’m tired, I want my bed back
To myself, alone for the time being.
Sleep comes hard tonight.
And I am so weary
I have so much to do tomorrow.
Here I am at 2 o’clock in the morning
Writing a plea
To be left alone by all of them.
It’s my way of running from them
Scarf flying, arms and legs a blur
Go back, go back down to the recesses
You’re not wanted here
Not needed here.
I’ve worked hard to excavate you from my heart
The path is open, it has not closed.
The old ones are old men now
Go rest your worn out head in your own bed
I’m not so old, but you left this bed before
It’s not for you anymore
We fought over our sleeping arrangements
I lost and you left
Though I knew you wanted to stay.
Sometimes, I left.
Sometimes, I asked them to leave.
or nights yet to come.
It’s no matter now.
The voices quieted,
a new one speaks from somewhere in the ethers
And tells me it’s time to sleep.
I can hear his words clearly
The rest go back into hiding,
Playing that game they are so good at.
I hated being “it” and trying to find them.
I’m just no good at games, I’m too easy to find.
Time for sleep to take me, finally
To that blissful state of silence.
Despite the fact that I generally sleep really well these days, I still have my nights. I was up last night, and the only way I managed to get back to sleep was write my stream of consciousness which turned out to be this poem. Finally, I fell asleep with the laptop in my lap, and woke up to a page and a half of commas. But I fell asleep easily.
By Deborah E. Dayen