Insomniac's Almanac

Lay your head down on the pillow.

Pull the blanket overhead.

Drift off for a mere minute

with the tiredness of the dead.

Exhaustion thick as concrete.

You actually begin to sleep.

But a crack forms in the wall.

It is the end of sleep.

One thought leads to another.

Mushrooms grow on top.

Roll over. Try again.

Mental motion will not stop.

O.K. Relax each part.

Go to your happy place.

The waterfall starts crashing,

spray hitting you in the face.

The questions have no answers.

The ball rolls on and on.

Turn again. Turn again,

wishing for the dawn.

Somewhere about one A.M.,

or is it two or three?

You somehow manage R.E.M.,

though

it is not to be.

The cat meows in your ear.

The dog develops an itch.

And all your rest,

an hour at best,

is lost in a bleary ditch.

Decide to still yourself,

at least you can repose,

but

here sprout the spires

of your daily quagmires,

cogs grind down to your toes.

That’s it!

You finally cave in.

Get up, set tea to steeping.

Maybe tomorrow night

you may attempt again

the sleeping.

2019

Illustration by Mar Startari, 2019

Maria Startari-Stegall