Some Days It's Hard ToTell Up from Down

It's dark when I leave for work in the morning. It's dark when I drive home, and when I get to glance out the windows it's nothing but grey.

I can't sleep all the way through the night. I wake up and think about everything I have to get done. Two studies involving firefighters, flour dust and baker's asthma, and job hazard analysis. And, I'm intimidated by our scanner.

Maybe a little a cup of Sleepytime Tea will do the trick tonight and I can sleep past three...

An Early Start in Midwinter

by Robyn Sarah

The freeze is on. At six a scattering
of sickly lights shine pale in kitchen windows.
Thermostats are adjusted. Furnaces
blast on with a whoosh. And day
rumbles up out of cellars to the tune
of bacon spitting in a greasy pan.

Scrape your nail along the window-pane,
shave off a curl of frost. Or press your thumb
against the film of white to melt an eye
onto the fire escape. All night
pipes ticked and grumbled like sore bones.
The tap runs rust over your chapped hands.

Sweep last night's toast-crumbs off the tablecloth.
Puncture your egg-yolk with a prong of fork
so gold runs over the white. And sip
your coffee scalding hot. The radio
says you are out ahead, with time to spare.
Your clothes are waiting folded on the chair.

This is your hour to dream. The radio
says that the freeze is on, and may go on
weeks without end. You barely hear the warning.
Dreaming of orange and red, the hot-tongued flowers
that winter sunrise mimics, you go out
in the dark. And zero floats you into morning.

please note: photo from Detroit in Ruins by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre


  1. I hope Sleepytime Tea did the trick and that you are sound asleep as I comment. Your plate sounds full, but so interesting. I am intrigued as to what "baker's asthma" might be, guessing it has something to do with inhaling flour. I have an excuse for giving up on baking much at all. :)

    Our winter has been so mild. I love the poem's description about shaving off a curl of frost from the window. :) (spring will come.)

  2. Midwinter, indeed. I truly understand the phrase, "the dead of winter." It feels that way this year, doesn't it?

  3. While we haven't had much sun, I did notice a dark lavender appearance to the skyline last night. It was 6:30 PM. Proof indeed that the days are getting longer. A month ago, it would have been pitch black by 5:30.

    Hang in there.

    Baker's asthma? Who knew?


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Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)

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