John I. Blair
Through the door, down the open hall
At three o’clock in the morning
The dishwasher sloshes rhythmically.
In the room the twin computers hum,
Their soft antiphonal songs eclipsed
By the susurrating throb
Of her oxygen concentrator.
Labeled Millenium Respironics,
It looks formidable, like a small robot;
But we name it the bubble machine
And stand it in the corner
Next to the tall bookcase.
Insulated behind closed windows
And hollow wood and plaster walls
We hear nothing from the night,
Not even owl calls or cricket chirps.
Unless the wind gusts
Or rain falls, the dark is silent.
She works patiently on her novel
About a Russian émigré;
I tinker with this poem,
Coerced here at this hour
By insomniac sleep cycles.
Blinds tight shut, lamps lit all around,
Cats sleeping on the easy chair,
Piles of papers on the floor,
It’s not a bad asylum.
©2005 John I. Blair
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