Poetry Friday: “All You Who Sleep Tonight”

After seventeen years of marriage, sleeping alone in our bed evokes a deep, intimate loneliness. I miss Rob every time I turn off the light and slip beneath my blankets. Since he died, many nights I just can’t do it. I grab a sleeping bag and pillow and camp out for the night on the floor of one of my kids’ rooms. Grief has disrupted my sleeping patterns; and when I wake in the night, the sound of a child breathing in her bed nearby reassures me. I am not alone.

“No hand to left or right,” is not the way I wanted my life to be. If you are here, I imagine it is not the way you wished your life to be either. Wherever you are in your grief journey, “far from the ones you love,” you are not alone. The world shares our tears.

All You Who Sleep Tonight

Vikram Seth

All you who sleep tonight
Far from the ones you love,
No hand to left or right
And emptiness above –

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