Night Thoughts

I cannot sleep
The night beats on me like
An old familiar enemy
In darkness and artificial light.
“I read much of the night.”
Of course I do.

Rome wept when we left,
Gushing and splashing and pouring
Like a heartbroken child
Gulping, howling, thundering,
The rain streamed between the cobblestones
And flooded the asphalt.

As I grow older
I fear becoming invisible
A common fate for women
It has started already
Ignored, passed over, forgotten
No space for those not new, young, hot.

It Italy old women
Get addressed as “Mamma”
A strange form of respect
But acknowledment of existence
“Mamma” is always visible,
Valued, wanted, present.

Demons creep out at night,
The fail states of the brain,
For some depression,
Others, losing their grip,
For me it is the voices,
That distance from reality.

Last year on the train
Coming into Florence
My heart leapt “Home!” then caught myself
I have friends but I don’t live here!
Still, at every familiar glimpse
My heart beat: home, home, home.

Sailing the dark ocean of night
Measuring time towards morning
Laying out books like island chains
Anchors in blue remembered seas.
“And go south in winter.”
Of course I do.

5th December 2022