Uneasy Sleep

Yvette Christiansë
South African
b. 1954


Who was it that cried out? This cry,
a call that opens night
breaks out like a bird
breaking to greet dawn, or
the arrival of a high tide
that brings schools of fish
whose scales make the waters
glint and shimmer, glint and shimmer.

Who cried? Who woke us
to such things on such a dark night?
Do not ask. No, do not ask.
The moon will make a basin
for tears and where your heart beats
a well will dry up and the weight
of ships leaning against the wind
will make you think of a woman
hanging in the hammock
of an early death.

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