Our night’s rest should meander, releasing us to dreams,
but my sleep took me on a trip down other sorts of streams
with rapids, eddies, waterfalls that jarred me rough awake.
I think that just one night like it is all that I could take.
Whenever I lay prone, I had another bout of coughing—
with one hack executed, another in the offing.
I could not lay my head down to soothe myself to sleep.
Instead I slept bolt upright, my covers in a heap
around me on the sofa as a cough jarred me awake.
Sleeping upright on the sofa does not sweet dreaming make.
I longed for my soft bed and former slumbering meanders
through crisp rows of wheat stalks and banks of oleanders
in search of something still unknown, a peaceful all-night search
for those soulful comforts I never found at church.
My mother’s laughter once again, my father’s joking ways
waiting just around the bend of this nightly maze.
Instead, I’ve barely three hours sleep in between my wheezes—
my dreams propelled by cyclones instead of gentle breezes.
The cold germ is not neighborly. It visits when it pleases
and brings unwanted hostess gifts of drips and coughs and sneezes.
As you may have guessed, I’ve come down with a miserable cold. Two poems in one night, one while I was still trying to stay in bed, then another after I moved to sit upright on the couch which at least furnished a half hour of sleep now and then between the coughing bouts. The prompt today is meander.