As You Sleep
Her sleeve fell from her shoulder of her
pink pajamas as she hugged a pillow.
Seat #34. – his mouth is wide open, snores –
hesitates – snores again – and pink catches my eye –
The two in front of seat #34 lean right, lean left, and right
to join, touch shoulders, while strange voices sing in
their own personal space – tossing in their sleep.
The metal wheels you brought are shaking a metal door, near a
glass window where spikes spin as we turn left, right, or
come to a sudden stop.
The train finally stops, bodies once sleeping jerk forward as
a conductor shouts, “Baltimore.” You adjust your clothes – and
ask, “Is my pink blouse is centered?” Your metal chair slams
against seat #67 – I glanced to see if anyone was sitting there – I knew
I would here them complain.
Doors close and wheels move, a whistle sounds, and Baltimore disappears.
To our east a sun is rising like a circle of orange marmalade – cities come
alive, winter no longer hides the leaves on a tree – still a scattering of
white snow in small patches, I hope winter has come to a close. Soon
a season of beauty, growth, scatters across lawns, parks, and yards with
a new night time.
You are now sound asleep, not moving like those in seat #32 – a young child
fidgets as he climbs to his knees to peek at you, you will never know, your eyes
closed, and I wonder if you are dreaming while you’re riding home,
out of your metal chair – or praying to be alive the same time next year.
For a minute I shut my eyes and pictured you dancing, kicking your heels, slapping
your hands against someone’s back – and your smile electrified night –
I never thought I would be here – guarding you from others – protecting your
chair, and watching you sleep.
So sleep in peace, and dream of yesterday. I cried in the silent quarters of yesterday,
I shall not predict a time to say goodbye, but will seek a deeper shade of pink.
I probably left out the most important reason for this writing – I was traveling back from John Hopkins with my sister-in-law, she had to use a wheelchair, she has ALS and is still – way beyond expectation is fighting for her life, as she sits in her world knowing everything that is happening, far beyond ten years, far beyond fourteen years. Sincerely, Nancy