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Sport 12: Autumn 1994

Tired and Emotional

page 58

Tired and Emotional

Darkness kept you up at night
then daylight wouldn’t let you sleep,
shining its sun in your eyes. Yet
weariness like this might lay down such paths
as lead to the discovery of a whole
new music. It’s been waiting for all

your chatty certainties to shut up, all
those smooth fingers of manner and night,
the white and the black keys, the whole
rehearsal’s endless orchestra to sleep,
so that a single note, where these paths
intersect, might usefully reverberate yet

within us—can you hear it?—and yet
without us. You have to listen with all
your life. Stick to the footpaths
for the rest of the day, and the following night
it becomes a simple lullaby; you sleep
reminded of how you might be whole

despite the evidence, and your whole
body will thank you with pleasant dreams. Yet
some things a good night’s sleep,
you find, is bad for, after all:
that tune that was there all night
in your dreams has gone, down which paths

you’ll never know, except that they were the paths
of forgetfulness, and it was the whole
number corresponding, in the depths of night,
to the sound you’d heard when you weren’t ready yet,
tired and emotional, the day before, all
washed up and longing for sleep,

page 59

the sound of your self. And if sleep
hasn’t sent it packing, down those paths
we spoke of, it will be drowned now by all
the new day’s noises, as the part meets the whole
theme’s needs then dies. And won’t be back. Yet
perhaps, such days suggest, if you stay up all night

now and then, and sleep later, the whole
maze of paths that connect your heart to the world might yet
begin to reveal all, in the slow room of a day that follows a
sleepless night.