The Sleep Of
It’s long after two o’clock when the storm breaks,
but he’s open-eyed, still sleepless,
wondering how the night might be doing
in other places, re-running the day,
not wanting to disturb with wakefulness
the woman by his side so deep asleep
he can’t be sure he can even hear her breathing
above the pock-pock-pock of rain
against the window. His mind replays
the midnight news, the final jumpy images
that have followed him to bed: people running,
limping, being dragged along or carried,
faces marked with pain he can only guess at.
The presenter’s deadpan voice-over, no panacea
for bodies on the ground, selects key details,
a young woman, voice crackling over a bad line,
beseeches the watching world, his world,
to understand that where she is the sky rains bullets.
If you have any comments on
this poem, Ken Head
would be pleased to hear them.