Sunday, October 14, 2012

Slumber Interruptus



painting by curtis wilson cost


Slumber Interruptus 

“All is well, tho’ faith and form
be sunder’d in the night of fear.”
--Alfred, Lord Tennyson


What the hell was it
that woke you at 2 a.m.,
a growl, a howl, a cough,
a distant scream
like a lost infant 
in the velvet folds of the forest,
something alien prowling beneath
the bedroom window?

Only one sure cure,
flip on the lamp light,
slippers shuffling, flooding
the kitchen with brightness,
shattering the hypnogogia,
a tentative peek out the window
over the sink, that damned dripping
faucet joining the melee, followed
by the welcome electric whirring
of the regenerative refrigerator motor,

then rather than facing the maybe-phantoms
who might appear red-eyed at some pane,
you just pop open the fridge door
and reach for that last fat piece of cheesecake,
accompanied by a cold glass of whole milk
and a handful of red seedless grapes
and three chilled chocolate kisses.

At the sink rinsing the dishes,
your busy tongue digging out
the last morsel of grape peeling
from craggy molars, enjoying
a lustrous cheesecake burp,
your lids suddenly grow heavy,

and you habitually stagger back
to the bedroom, bravely flipping
off lights as you crawl into the safety
of grandmother’s quilt, soon eradicating
both the chill off your bare feet
and the noises of the night,

finding yourself on that familiar beach,
holding one of those silly umbrella drinks,
wearing oversize sunglasses, hearing
only the sweet surf
and children’s laughter.


Glenn Buttkus

October 2012

Posted over at Magpie Tales 139

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?

7 comments:

manicddaily said...

Ha. Very charming. At first I thought this was your fear poem and I thought - hmmm, doesn't sound so bad! (Actually being woken in my apartment in NYC by strange sounds truly is one of my terrible fears.)

This is super charming though from grape to cheesecake and sweet sweet dreams. k.

Tess Kincaid said...

It's amazing what cheesecake and grandma's quilt can do...always a pleasure to see you at Magpie...

flipside records said...

I was so excited to see your name on the list. :)

I'm crazy about this:
"shattering the hypnogogia,
a tentative peek out the window"

And I also like these:

"At the sink rinsing the dishes,
your busy tongue digging out
the last morsel"

"hearing
only the sweet surf
and children’s laughter" ... Beautiful ending.

christopher said...

Quite good narrative. Thanks for sharing.

Ginny Brannan said...

Great descriptives--tongue digging out the last morsel of grape peeling from craggy molars, enjoying a lustrous cheesecake burp, and perfect title! Well penned!

Brian Miller said...

ha would not mind a visit to that dream beach right about now...things go bump in the night...occassionally T wakes me up to go inspect....keep a bat just in case....i love cheesecake but def not one to eat in the middle of the night....

Sue said...

Well done, and I enjoyed hearing you read it, too.

=)