You find yourself face down on a polyester couch
eyeglasses in hand and barely awake
you hear the toddler toddling 3 feet away
and hope they have the presence of mind
to not kill themselves or toddle into the radiator
that shrieks like a banshee whenever it gives off heat.
You’ve never felt this tired before
and you wonder if this is what a slow death feels like
an unrelenting surrender to the warm exhale of sleep
or a yawning inhale of the vast unknown;
but death is such a morbid contemplation
not at all appropriate for a stolen cat nap
amidst toddling toddlers and shrieking radiators
so you turn back and swim away from the catacomb
away from an invitation to the dreamless deep.
You find yourself awake, alive (and just a little bit sweaty)
time is immaterial as you grasp around for your glasses;
Is the toddler still toddling? Check
Is the radiator still shrieking? Check
Has the toddler managed to avoid
toddling into the radiator and kick start
all sorts of shrieking? Check and check.
So you b r e a t h e
and blink in the world
of toddling toddlers
and try to put away that coaxing memory
of that fathomless, bottomless, endless sleep.
© Nancy Botta, 2018