2 September 2003 | Vol. 3, No. 3

5 a.m.

There's much to do in a sleeping house

though this means silence, little light,

talking to myself.

Even the cats don't wake;

the wind's worn out.

Rain has ceased on the tin roof;

neighbors have stopped their bickering.

There's time to be alone in this moonlit room,

time for marking time,

to grieve if I'm going to.

I'm not awake enough to hear

the latest news: the floods, or fires

climbing in the dumb fir trees.

I start coffee, wait for the good gurgling,

put on my quiet shoes.

The small red clock of my heart is slow,

won't keep time, needs batteries

or your arms around my languishing equator.

I've heard that rhesus in a cage begin to die

without embrace.

How more so we in middle-age,

if we get that far? If you go drifting

over the ocean, all ashes as you wish,

I'll find another or sleep with toys—

their scarred bodies a small comfort.

About the author:

Born and raised in Seattle, Teresa now lives in eastern Washington with her husband. During the past three years, she has had over 200 poems published in over 50 magazines online and in print. She was nominated for a Pushcart in 1999 by the Melic Review. You can reach her at .

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Teresa White at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 3, No. 3, where "5 a.m." ran on September 2, 2003. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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