Why Do We Trust Ourselves to Sleep – TheScreamOnline
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Why Do We Trust Ourselves to Sleep

Why do we trust ourselves to sleep
and leave all we know behind

as once we slipped into our father’s
hand and followed him?

Where do we go when we neatly fold
our bodies into bed and step

across the threshold of stars
drawn like metal filings toward

a time when we were somewhere else
we can’t remember where—

a place reached only through one door
which sleep as close to it

as life allows seems almost to breach
but never quite?

What makes us lay our bodies aside
like the day’s old clothes

and ride the fitful currents of night
on the wild  backs of dreams

in search of what we cannot name
until our restless bodies call us home

and we—forgetting why we left—
return to them until we sleep again?

Deidra Greenleaf Allan has been published in American Poetry Review, Haibuntoday.comPoetry MiscellanyPuerto del SolWest BranchUmbrella, and Wind Magazine, among other print and online journals. She received her undergraduate degree from Temple University and an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. In 2001 she was selected as Montgomery County Poet Laureate in a competition judged by Robert Hass. She has received a Leeway Emerging Artist Award and been a finalist for a Pew Fellowship in poetry.  Her poem “Apostrophe to the Living” was selected in 2012 by Musehouse as its Poem of Hope poster.

Photo ©Richard Beban