Dawn breathes an invitation and Rumi’s words taunt me: Do not go back to sleep. I am loathe to greet the day – not that I despise its arrival, rather that waking has become laborious since the onset of chronic illness. Daughter of a military man, I am conditioned to rise before the sun, have a lifetime of such anecdotes to my credit, however; while the brain is still willing, the body groans, and aches wail with renewed emphasis as the numbing cocoon of sleep loosens. Hours dwindle from the first inkling of consciousness until muscles comply with movement, and I am lucky if I’m actually able to utter “Good Morning.”
Rays, like razors, slice,
invade sleep’s cocoon – absent
(Good Afternoon first appeared here Sept 2018. Edited for this edition. The poetry form is haibun. I am pleased to report that waking has become easier, and most days I am able to greet the morning.)
Morning light but a trickle
mind switches into gear,
body resisting response,
ambition thwarted by illness,
the usual game – pray this day
will embrace gently, and
bring a gift of healing.
(Image from personal collection.)
Shards of light cut around the edges of blinds
puncture the bubble of sleep, my eyes
resist opening, consciousness absent
from body, lying corpse-like
under a mound of blankets –
the furnace failing in the night.
Incessant chirping accosts my ears
not yet ready to respond to birdsong,
brain encased in a cement-block fog,
the mournful coos of a dove more fitting
for this somnambulist state.
Mouth, cotton dry, dreams of that first
honey-sweet sip of hot tea, smells coffee
brewing, the warm, encouraging aroma
of toast, weakly considers the possibility
of moving, but body still bears the weight
of death – refusing to respond.
Minutes will stretch to hours –
these mornings when illness wrestles
me into submission, the harshness
of its reality wrapping me mummy-like,
imprisoned in immobility – sentenced
without crime, trial or jury.
(Today’s prompt challenges us to use all the senses.)