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In the half-night I sit by black windows,


seeing only tigers eyes of dim street lamps.



Safe and warm in my swivel chair, I wait


for pills to carry my too-active brain


and weary body back to a soft bed


filled with nothing but thoughtless time.



My fingers push keys to form words


that cannot re-create the fear of unknown


realities that overcome me when they will,


strangely, my brain not letting my brain


know what it will soon discover hidden


in aged crevices and cracks in its former


smooth walls of carefree youth.



I sip the sour wine of hope and listen


to the rumble of a train, the engineer


shattering the solid quiet with long


bursts of his air horn, as required,


but no doubt enjoying the rage of those


he wakes to join him as he flees


past the other limits of this small town.



All day the sky has been heavy


with cold gray, hiding now all


stars and planets, only faith


keeping them in their westerly swim


unseen. Surely they are there,


Cassiopeia forty-five degrees


to the north, Polaris unmoving.



My nightly Earth turns and wobbles;


stars move in the opposite direction,


firmly on course.



Quite often, one tires and flares


as it gives up its orbital effort


to streak gloriously for a moment.

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Begins with the individual and ends with the cosmic. The feeling in the stanza beginning "I drink the sour wine" is palpable.


Just doing his duty, you still managed to make the engineer seem "guilty". Good job! :)

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