When I originally wrote this poem as a college assignment, it was the night before it was due (not surprising) and I was in bed, exhausted. The only topic I could seem to think of writing on was sleep, which is exactly what I did. (I ended up getting a great grade on the assignment, and the poem was eventually published in a collection!) But now looking back, I think this poem could as easily be interpreted to be talking about meditation. What do you think?
Her sleep is like the rain, sweeping
down in sheets. The sheets are cool
and baby blue, sheets the shades of sleep.
When she closes her eyes, her leaden
lids, the calm comfort of the moments
before she dreams holds her hand, warms her
and takes her once again. Here,
the shades, not just of baby blue, but gold
and silver – mostly silver – wash behind
her heavy lids like the ocean’s warm
and welcome waves. Now she relaxes, she
releases all the rich and simple things she thought
before she slept. She lets the waves wax
and wane while the moon watches, while a silver
mist falls lightly. And just as suddenly as it started,
just as water – now lukewarm water – drains from
the hems of line-hung laundry. As the silver
fades to baby blues and her leaden lids try
not to lift, she remembers just the water, and she waits
just one day longer
until the tide creeps in again,
over sheets the shades of sleep.