United States
38° 19' 34.6296" N, 90° 26' 26.8944" W

There is a faint chirping in the yard
a chill in the air
the crickets are serenading along with my
tick-tacking fingers
and the hair on my arms is standing up.

No one else is standing up, though,
not even me.
Seated on a sandy-colored carpet
I hear my sister silently snore
everyone is down, but like my hair I'm up

and my mind races, like kids in a scavenger hunt
running and searching for specific items
picking up some, but leaving others
and feeling guilty later for leaving those others behind.
It continues, still, this mad scramble for thought

and though my body tires and my eyes dim
my ears stay sharp as my mind hurries on
and the crickets keep time to the tick-tacking of my hands.
This can't be healthy, this staying up to write,
but how can I sleep when it feels so right?

The doctors write, "Nine hours each night."
One guy said, "You can sleep when your dead."
A girl made the comment, "It;s like death without commitment."
Sleep. What I need, yet what I avoid.
Yet whenever I awake after finally sleeping

my first thought is always:
"I need to get to bed earlier."
Strange that I know it revitalizes me
and that maybe after a couple nights
I'll feel a lot better. But writing my real thoughts--

staying up with the chirping, the tick-tacking
the snoring, and the creaking--
is restoring in itself! My body is done,
but my mind's just begun.
It draws up images, music, laughter, and words

and sends them all to my hands
to be conveyed
in ways that only happen once, never twice.
That is why I am awake.
To write what I must.


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