Two forty, AM

Two forty.

The house is cold.  There is snow outside, coating the trees and the fence.

The world is silent.

My eyes are heavy, and want to close. I turn onto my right side, curl my knees just so to ease the aching in my back.  I slow my breath. I imagine sleep.

The trick, I know, is not to think of sleep, not directly.  If I chase it, it will slip away in a little spurt of alertness, replaced at once by the awareness that I am most certainly not really sleeping.  The trick, I have learned, is to lie in readiness for sleep, to be open to it when it creeps in.

I begin to drift away on an almost dream of summer winds, but then I notice that I have drifted, and sleep runs away again.

A turn to my left side now, adjust the pillow, think of ocean waves.  Relax, let go, just let it come and take me.

I float for a moment, filled with lightness, empty of thought. I see a student, one of my struggling souls. Worry rushes in, pushing out the light.  I crash back to earth with a racing heart.  Minutes drag by as I try and fail to turn my thoughts away from this child, away from the day, away from the TV news that is no doubt a part of his acting out.

My eyes are so heavy.  They want so much to close and rest.  I let the lids fall, but I find that I am still looking out into the cloudy night.  Is there more snow falling now?

I turn onto my right side, hand under my cheek.

I try to let myself drift. I wait for sleep.

Dawn comes.

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