Great Sleeps I Have Known

Robin Becker

 
Once in a cradle in Norway folded
like Odin's eight-legged horse Sleipnir
as a ship in full sail transported the dead to Valhalla
Once on a mountain in Taos after making love
in my thirties the decade of turquoise and silver
After your brother walked into the Atlantic
to scatter your mothers ashes his khakis soaked
to the knees his shirtsleeves blowing
At the top of the cottage in a thunderstorm
once or twice each summer covetous of my solitude
Immediately following lunch
against circadian rhythms, once
in a bunk bed in a dormitory in the White Mountains
Once in a hollow tree in Wyoming
A snow squall blew in the guide said tie up your horses
The last night in the Katmandu guest house
where I saw a bird fly from a monk's mouth
a consolidated sleep of East and West
Once on a horsehair mattress two feet thick
I woke up singing
as in the apocryphal story of my birth
at Temple University Hospital
On the mesa with the burrowing owls
on the mesa with the prairie dogs
Willing to be lucky
I ran the perimeter road in my sleep
entrained to the cycles of light and dark
Sometimes my dead sister visited my dreams
Once on the beach in New Jersey
after the turtles deposited their eggs
before my parents grew old, nocturnal
 
From Domain of Perfect Affection © 2006. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Poems by This Author

Against Pleasure by Robin Becker
Worry stole the kayaks and soured the milk
Angel Supporting St. Sebastian by Robin Becker
Shot with arrows and left for dead
Man of the Year by Robin Becker
My father tells the story of his life
The Barcelona Inside Me by Robin Becker
Give me, again, the fairy tale grotto


Further Reading

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