In Bed by Jack D. Harvey


In bed I lie awake
on a winter’s night,
my unwearied heart
overflowing rivers,
thumping along
like a distant drum.

I lie awake restless,
stretching and contracting
like a cat;
on my right my wife
shifts uneasily, back and away;
she seeks to be asleep.

My worries and pleasures
in familiar array
line up like steeples across
the measured plain of
my mind’s​ landscape;
under a factitious night and
a paper moon
some bristling memories
of long ago,
picture-book towns,
lost loves, insults
made and paid for,
victories and defeats;
an untidy army of
regrets and triumphs
crowd along the pathways,
aimless useless soldiers.

The grinning clock
ticks along
steady and remote as a
distant rehearsal metronome
and walking along Morpheus’ banks
I worry about health, wealth,
death, the children, bills,
happiness, the daily grind;
the concerto is old and new
every night.

In the stillness
of this final winter,
cracked to pieces
the river’s thin ice
clicks back and forth,
reformed, pulled this way and that
by the sullen sun and wind.

In the beginning of
growing old and cold
I wait in the wings,
facing a dawn
that no night knew;
aging hunter
done with the hunt,
done with the heat of the chase,
looking for solace,
looking for passing peace
to slow her step,
to stop and wait.

At a loss what to do,
where to go,
in a cold country
with no place, no rest,
I stand helpless and hesitating
at the edge of a dark wood;

a dog who has lost the scent.

©2019 Jack D. Harvey


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Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Bay Area Poets’ Coalition, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and a number of other on-line and in print poetry magazines. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies.

The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, N.Y. He was born and worked in upstate New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired. 


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