the long night

Poem #6 from The Book of Evenings

Back to: The Book of Evenings – Introduction


the room is darkened but alive
to the beeping of machines
and glow of indicator lights
green and red
noisy
and yet hushed

tubing adds a surreal air

she is in the room
seated in a chair by the bed
red eyed when awake
dozing from time to time

he is in the corridor
for a moment of air and space
seeing activity all around him
seeing nothing
thinking            everything
thinking nothing

she arrived before him
summoned at her work
he found out
when he reached the last message
on his answering machine

the uncertainty
and trauma
have affected them both
made them distraught
when already they were on edge
this has come out of the blue
and he doesn’t know
how he should deal with it
if there is anything that he can do at all
it seems out of his hands

his mind strays
to what this might mean
in their lives
to the note he left
pinned to her pillow this morning
whether she saw it
or if there might be a chance
to retrieve it unread
whether anything should be said about it regardless
when everything is so changed

compared to this
he and she
are a petty concern

he wanders back
into the room where a ghost figure
has checked the tubes
made some notes
silently drifted out

from a chair
he watches the bed
absorbs the regular rhythms
of breath and beep
the repetitive patterns of green lines
thinks how long one night
can be


© Frank Prem 2003

The Book of Evenings Poem #7: digging water and kissing clouds

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4 thoughts on “the long night

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