For this week's installment, I wrote a sestina.
I'm not one for poetry, as will shortly become clear. If I ever win any poetry awards, it'll be for writing bad poetry, at which I excel. But as Nietzsche was fond of saying, Play to your strengths, ubermensch. Or something similarly exhortatory and German.
|When you stare into a sestina,|
the sestina stares back at you.
For my theme I decided to explore Zoe's rocky relationship with sleep and how this negatively impacts my own relationship to same.
For my six words I chose: (1) tears, (2) sleep, (3) mine, (4) juice, (5) dreams, and (6) demands.
To Sleep or Not to Sleep? (Spoiler: It's the Second One)
She entered the world in an abundance of tears
|One of many poets rolling over in|
their graves in reaction to my sestina.
Soon enough she spoke her first word: "mine"
Followed by repeated requests for juice
Never again was I to enjoy uninterrupted dreams
Because 24/7 I was slave to a toddler's demands.
Ever-evolving and capricious were this toddler's demands
At first it was hard to withstand her tears
Time to myself? The stuff of dreams
Dreams I never had because to dream you needed to sleep
She didn't seem to need much herself. Possibly because of all the juice?
Inconvenient truth---the fault was all mine.
What could I do with this sleepless child of mine?
I had to admit a certain inconsistency in response to demands
Sometimes I bribed her with Umizoomi or juice
Sometimes I withheld these until she shed tears
Many an evening I'd count the hours till she'd go to sleep
Would she stay in her bed until morning? In my nonexistent dreams.
Each night that my head hits the pillow, waiting on dreams,
I vow that eight hours rest will finally be mine
She's at her cutest when she finally submits to sleep
Then it's hard to recall the waking person who demands
More TV, more playtime, unnecessary Band-Aids. Soon enough her voice tears
Through the silent apartment: "Mommy! You wake up! You sit with me! Juice!"
|Maybe it's good I don't sleep.|
This would give me nightmares.
She really really likes juice
I'm convinced that apples are pulped in her dreams
I imagine Granny Smith faces blurred by tears
Lack of zzzz's contributes to this mad fancy of mine
Medication? Is that what the occasion demands?
I down shots of tequila and then collapse into sleep
Five a.m. and I'm woken from sleep
by a tiny voice shouting in my ear, "I want juice!"
from a short person who features largely in short dreams.
She leads me to the kitchen, her hand in mine
The overhead light makes my eyes fill with tears
The idea of going back to sleep is the embodiment of my dreams
As she sits on the couch guzzling juice, I can't believe she's all mine.
It's my misfortune that she demands payment in tears.
Zoe: 34; Universe: 0