the days are taken up
almost absent-mindedly
with tasks of work and with idle hours
papers to read
lunch to be consumed

evenings are a greater challenge
little to do
but endure the bright flicker
and booming sound
of the television
the moment of going to bed delayed
a little too long
almost as though it threatens
though this is not so
for the bed is a comfort
and the warmth of blanket and doona
are both an embrace and a relaxation

crime fiction postpones sleep
in a persistent pattern of long standing
for which there is no good reason
beyond occupation of time until weariness
and the light goes out

there are no fears in the darkness
no ghosts to confront
when the yellow bulb is extinguished
sleep will come easily enough

it is only with the movement
towards the bedside
and the switch on the far wall
to allow the day finally to end
that I hear myself say goodnight out loud
to an empty space
and feel a moment of bewilderment
before touching the switch

good night

© Frank Prem, 2002

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