by Stewart Alter

I know nothing about my snoring self,
The loud beast whose breathing chills the village.
I have never heard myself, but have been told
My snoring is the terror of the night.
I know myself only as the dreamer,
Master of the quiet and private signs
Who slips nimbly through night’s animation.
But I have become the cave of the dragon
In which each day ends, the legions of Rome
Milling restlessly in the colonies, threatening
To stir up all laws and languages.
I know myself only as the dreamer
Who was prepared to face the senselessness
Of my own discomforts, not those I imposed.

I wish now that I had known success
Was the blessing of sleeping silently—
The foxhole fellowship of hiding unheard
Together for weeks to surprise the enemy,
The lovers’ afterlude when satellite minds
Regain their orbits in expanding space.

For I had envisioned a different end for myself:
Old man beneath a broad suburban tree,
Lying on my back, and pedaling from leaf to leaf
Until I reached the sky,
I would return outside one evening
To climb and doze off, undiscovered
Until a few mornings later,
Casually I would be spotted,
Huddled in the branches,
Dear old eccentric. 

Stewart Alter, who joined LP2 in the Fall of 2020, has been writing poetry and painting intermittently before, during and now after a long career in business journalism and corporate communications.