Pray for the wakeful house,
friend, and the lit window.
Marina Tsvetaeva (transl. Elaine Feinstein)
Pray for the student pulling an all-nighter,
pilled and pepped and under-prepped
Pray for the man who never sleeps
when his partner patrols the streets
Pray for the mother with screaming child,
her worn-out tread, her hands held tight
Pray for the wife with husband long-dying,
the unused pillow beside his head
Pray for the closet lovers, the night-clubbers,
the ravers, cocktailers, the drug-pushers
Pray for the fourth-time mum pondering abortion,
the habitual owl, the burglar, the night-shift worker
Pray for the vigilant, alert to what is to come,
that they may dream wisdom.
If you have any comments on this poem, Nancy Charley
would be pleased to hear from you.