Soporific

At night I am the dream keeper
I am the steward of sleep
And my every personal foible is cast into bass relief
And a sensible format, recognizable pattern

My sotto voice, heavy eyes, slow languid step
Ponderous head too, too full of story

I spend the early evening dispensing
Milk and medicines reading aloud
Singing scraps of song over and over like a broken record
Promoting not sense but imagination
The muted chant of a tuneless song repeated
So long it has no meaning other than simple
Sleep, sleep, simple dreams to you. All is well, all is safe.
In the morning, the world will need your light to wake up the dawn.

And the world,
Which foils most of my plans with luster, rewards my humble soporific efforts
Angels bow their heads and retire for the evening
To restore that inexplicable light which I can neither give them nor understand

I rise gingerly from the chair
And slide out of the room
Like the shadows cast by the hall light through the half cracked door

I take my complicated ideas with me
To turn them over like a worry stone in my palm till late, late night
When I can wake no more

Put out the lights
Lock the doors
One final nod to the dog standing sentinel (this is his duty too, I imagine)
And I am done
Till tomorrow

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