Oh, to sleep like the cat.
Indolent napping during
Daylight hours,
Exhausted by a night’s prowl,
Then a rarefied rest.
Balletic investigations
Of belly, paw, and privates,
Easing her down upon
The counterpane:
The Isle of Tabby.
Eyes half-mast and slow fade
To brief oblivion of empty house.
Until a human invasion.
Obscene stretching
Invites a touch, a scratch,
A shift of position,
Then napping on.

Oh, to rest a long time!
A poison-spindled slumber
With no wake-up call.
Instead, this wakened/woke
Angst of Now.
A flash of heat, petty fretting,
Life-or-death disquiet,
Breaking glass, a mate’s mere snore,
Toss and turn me long before
Oblivion will come.

Oh, to be nocturnal like the cat,
Aptly named Aurora.
We pass in the night.
She creeps toward her bowl,
I stumble toward the clock,
Old woman squinting
At a luminous dial.
How few hours has she rested?
Vigilant and wary of
A siren in the distance,
A dumpster dropped
From a midnight height,
An exchange of vital cautions
By the neighborhood dogs.
A freight train slows
At endless crossings
From north to south of town.
That not so lonesome moan
That offers no repose.

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About the Author

Sidney Brammer has been an adjunct professor of creative writing at Austin Community College for 22 years. She has a BFA in Theatre from the University of Texas at Austin, MFA in Fiction from the Rainier Writing Workshop of Pacific Lutheran University. Her first short story was published in 2009 in Southwest Review, her second story in Connotation Press in 2012. She is currently working on three novels, taking a break now and then to try shorter forms like poetry.