NOCTURNE


All day I wait for night -- the cricket whir, the moonlight, the hush. If daylight belongs to all creatures, night is possessive; it takes me.


It has always been hard for me to go to bed. Something deep inside me, something American, wants to stay up and do things. At night, day-tasks vanish -- work, children, meetings, meal preparation, hair concerns, the weedy garden beds. At night, I read the poem, a chapter in the book, I watch a film, I begin to write. If I was drowsy earlier, this flurry of activity rouses me. In the quiet hours, something critical awakens.


The trouble is, the more I do in the night, the less I sleep. The less I sleep, the less I am able to do. I have discovered this: morning, that well-lit realm, never ceases to arrive.