Sleep used to be my best friend.
As a child I loved an afternoon nap.
As a teenager I loved staying up late
and sleeping till noon,
if the fates and my mother allowed.
We had wonderful times, Sleep and I,
so wonderful I moaned and dragged my feet
when the morning alarm said we must part.
Together we spent many hours
joined together with beautiful dreams.

Things are different now.
Few are the nights where
we share hours together, 
unimpeded by calls of nature.
Our friendship has faded.
Sleep is like the friend 
you've had a falling out with
because they slipped LSD into the punch bowl,
and now, every time you come together
you're transported to Dali-World,
where the houses have floors angled like slides
and the windows are puddles melted down the wall.

I miss you, old friend,
the comfort you once gave,
the beautiful dreams of happy times
with those I love best.
Have you deserted me out of jealousy,
because you think I love them more than you?
Don't be silly. 
Without you, they are all gone,
only flat photos of memory. 
With you, they come alive with joy.
Come, Sleep, hold my hand;
let us be friends again.
Secret subconscious
Thoughts churn, origins unknown
Place where dreams are born
Things I do not understand
Trouble me throughout the day

As you can probably tell, I’ve had a bit of insomnia lately. Sleep doesn’t always come easy and when it does, I’ve been having very strange dreams, that seem to come out of nowhere. I mean, often you wake up from a dream and think, yeah, I dreamed that because of that news story, or I dreamed that because we were talking about this or that at dinner, but some of the things I’ve been dreaming lately are so bizarre, I’m starting to wonder who’s running the show in my subconscious. Last night, I was having another of those nights. There was a storm and the wind sounded like waves crashing on the shore. As I lay listening and staring at the clock, some of the thoughts in these poems came into my head. I ended up getting out of bed to jot them down so I wouldn’t forget. (Why not? I wasn’t doing anything important–like sleeping.) This afternoon, they took shape, so for Leap Year, you not only get an extra day, you get an extra poem. Enjoy. I wish you all sweet dreams.

~Elise Skidmore ©2024

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  1. I hear you Elise. I think with age comes less sleep. I do remember sleeping through the night…though it’s been a while. 😴. ❤️