Why My Sister is Afraid of the Dark
When her husband is out of town I stay with her,
crawl into place in their bed like a substitute teacher
in a room of unfamiliar children, a body to press weight
against the mattress, a sound of breathing, a tug of sheets.
At two-thirty her son wakes, his cries laden with the innocence
of children. She gets up as if never asleep, she is sleeping
the sleep of the mother, forever at the edge of waking.
She leaves the bedroom door open, the bathroom light on,
afraid of darkness, wanting to control it, too much happens
in the dark that shouldn’t happen, too many things go wrong
at night for children, they stop breathing, they have bad dreams,
someone slips through a door that shouldn’t open. The night
is not for sleep. The night is for waiting,
for guarding against what is awakened.
Thank you for visiting and liking my poem.
“Why My Sister is Afraid of the Dark” really struck a chord. I can relate to it on many levels. As a father…and as a pet owner! 🙂 Excellent!
I love that you mention pets. I don’t have children myself, but my pets are my babies!
Oh this is beautiful, Cynthia.
My son is 18 and in college, there is a part of my heart that I have left with him and my mind follows a different clock tuned to him!
That’s a lovely way to describe it, Uma!
Scary……. I leave the bathroom light on sometimes too, but I don’t know why.
My mom was scared of the dark, so there were always lights on at night. i still use a nightlight!
I think this piece is flawless! The sentiment, diction, rhythm – I adore it all. Lovely.