Sleeping at Night (and other dreams)

I wish I was the kind of kid
that could sleep soundly without
nightmares or terrors or tears;
and just nod off with a monster
under my bed and holding
my favorite stuffed animal
until I relaxed in night’s arms,
unafraid, unaware of anything
more that if I’d be able
to go to the toy store soon
or play hockey in the driveway
with a plastic puck I’d learned
to lift so it flew like a frisbee,
and fight with my brother
over the comics and wonder
about when Mom would make
apple pie again and pray Now
I lay me down sleep, I pray
the Lord my soul to keep, and
not figure out the part about
If I should die before I wake;
I wish I was that kid because
when I was I could sleep at night.

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There Will Be a Tomorrow

Tonight there’s a soft, cool breeze
from the north;
it’s the only consolation
of this day, this week, this year;
to the north is where
the tracks run across our street,
through this city
that punishes anonymity;
freight horns blow
their passing every night at
half-past twelve,
and a factory makes
candy – that’s what is carried
along on the breeze,
the scent of chocolate,
and that means there will be
a tomorrow, there will be
another day.

Signed, the Management

ManagementIt has come to our attention
that you are dissatisfied
with the general experience
of living, or so it would seem;
your constant complaints,
derogatory remarks, groans,
sour grimaces and typical
passive-aggressiveness
leave us with no other option
than to conclude that you
would be happier with
some other company;
therefore, please be advised
that effective in the immediate
future, possibly within as few
as six months, your employment
will be terminated and
a severance package will
be negotiated at the
discretion of the management
based upon your history
of contributions made
during your time with us.

Signed, the Management

A Good Neighbor…

They say a neighbor
should be one; not borrowing,
gossiping, coveting
what’s seen through the window,
lusting for greener grass;
we sit in our windows and look
out at our world,
wondering if he will curb his dog,
hiding from her,
overhearing raised voices, again,
the widow’s window
with Christmas decorations in June
because she’s still
remembering, but this is not all
there is to the world,
it just can’t be all there is to it;
once upon a time
the rabbi asked who became
a neighbor, not who lived
close enough to be like us already,
and who stops, and who helps
even though they are so different
as to be hated without reason,
and who will pay the price
to become what the world needs,
and that is the good neighbor
we’re all still looking for.