Sleepless on Manning Drive

My copy of Naugatuck River Review just came in the mail today. It includes almost 150 pages of poetry, including one of my poems, “Sleepless on Manning Drive.”  I see a few familiar names of Rhode Island poets that I have met through the web of writing events I’ve attended over the years. Some very well known poets are also included here — including Marge Piercy, Lyn Lifshin, Tim Mayo and Patricia Fargnoli. I know what I’ll be doing on this rainy September night!

Thank you to Editor Lori Derosiers for all her work on this well designed journal and for her support of poets!


Sleepless on Manning Drive

Can’t blame February’s full moon
for my insomnia.
I’ve been pasted to monitors
to learn what ails me
without resolution.

So, when I leave my wife behind
in our king-sized nest
to prowl the kitchen for a second time
tonight, she does not stir.

A certain light pulls me
to the checkered curtains,
where an outsized orb transforms
rubbish heaps of snow on Manning Drive
into a pulsing black-light poster.
This trick of the snow moon
is a gift exchanged for my dark wanderings.

Leaning against the fridge,
I notice a branch shake between
the neighbor’s SUV and his kid’s dented Kia.
Just another trick of pied light.

Then, my mind grasps a shape.
A whitetail buck lifts his rack of twigs,
steps out to the middle of the street
for a walk in the moonlight.

Not surprised to see him here.
Knew something was eating my bushes,
had seen hoof prints.
But, damn! here he is – glowing.

He steps onto another lawn,
scratches snow crusts for tasty arborvitae.
Antlers announce his youth,
although his bearing breathes ancient air.

I open the front door and step barefoot
onto frozen front stoop
to watch him continue on his way.
Thoughts of prodding my wife
to share this moment come and go.
I would lose him.

When the buck turns down a cul-de-sac,
I linger, hoping he will circle back.
But not tonight, his thin flanks parade his need,
explain his dark wanderings.

When I crawl under the comforter at dawn,
my wife’s breathing is heavy.
She roams in far-flung dreams
while I long to stroll under a snow moon,
the gnaw inside growing.


4 thoughts on “Sleepless on Manning Drive

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