To Sleep

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
January/February 2005

By Juliet B. Quaglia

Because I climb a ladder to sleep,
sometimes I feel it takes too long.
On the bottom rung,
I see the house, shadowed and cozy,
dark and peaceful,
already in another dream.
On the second rung,
I see the town, with each little house
drowning in blankets, and rarely
in silence, usually in snoring,
with families sleeping despite it.
But not me.

On the next rung, I see the country, amazed at
so many people
driving, walking, running, thinking, climbing
ladders to their own sleep.
On the next rung,
I see the world, and I realize
I’m not alone in my tired efforts
to fall asleep, but mostly,
I see that almost everyone is
snuggling with teddy bears, pillows,
blankets, spouses—anything soft they can grab.

I’m surprised at how fast they climbed
their ladders.
I reach for the next rung, but I
get a mattress instead.
I pull myself up, tuck myself in, close my eyes,
and feel my bed drift
back to the world,
back to the country,
back to the little town where people sleep,
back to the house,
and finally to sleep.

To Sleep Juliet B. Quaglia

Juliet B. Quaglia, 10
Piermont, New York

About the Author

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