Lights Out – a poem by Reagan Upshaw

Lights Out
The float engages as the toilet’s tank
is filled.  The sound of running water dies.
All noise of human bustle gone, the house
relaxes into weary creaks and sighs.
The trees outside are silent, with no wind
stirring their leaves.  A sparrow in its nest,
I settle into sleep beneath the distant
rumble of a red-eye heading west.
The smoke detector’s indicator light
winks faintly overhead, its tiny sun
the only glow except the bedside clock
displaying unwatched minutes one by one.
My breathing scarcely stirs the coverlet.
With no external sound distracting me,
I listen to my nervous system play
its steady note – F above middle C.
O let my end be gentle as this night
as silent and enfolding.  No more dawn -- 
let darkness rock me in its arms until
my heartbeat slows, then stutters, then is gone.

Reagan Upshaw lives in a town on the Hudson River 60 miles north of New York City and makes a living as an art appraiser, while gardening and keeping bees.

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