Sleep

Sleep is an illusion of something we believe we need.
We drift off at night,
covered by her security,
but I know someone who needs no sleep at all.

He sits under the stars in a little rocking chair.
Each night the children tramp in
from their excursions outside.
He waves them in as the golden disk sets.

After a while he starts rocking, still looking to the colored sky.
As the youth return one by one
from their night on the town.
Sometimes they shout drunken greetings to him,
and he favors them with a nod of his head.
He waves them in as the stars come out.

By now he has a candle lit by his feet,
throwing its glowing light to play across his features.
His face is still glowing when the parents return
from their work by night,
So tired they can barely trudge up the steps.
He shakes his head at their greetings, hushing them quietly.
He waves them in as the moon disappears into the night.

When the candle flickers out—its need is no more—
the first rays of another day cross his face.
For the first time,
he smiles.
The neighborhood awakens around him
and he sits in the midst of it all,
waving them off as they go to the day,
the children to school, the elders to work,
and the old man to his chair.





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