by Jeff Dutko
The four of us afloat
in this raft of a bed
beautiful wife and child
fitful dog and I
all exiles from the land of sleep
forced to propel our craft
beyond the borders of nod
on the steam of our own
inexpectorant coughs
we wheeze toward a distant Elba
blanketed in wakeful darkness
and unascertainable by the passing
deep unconscious pleasures of altered reality-
the snowy Monday that school skips
or the unnamed manager who plucks
a middle aged man out of the stands
to retire the final three batters
of the deciding game of the series
or even that squirrel
who finally couldn’t get away
Awake in the ark of darkness
with only the four of us
to build this night
into a shelter of quiet repose
arranged on the soft-spoken,
but raspy realities of illness
and the estimates of when
the quarantine shall be lifted
so that we can all sail back
to our night home together
one quieted son, resting in our arms
and one dog snoring at our feet

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