Awake at 3 am
The houses across the street are still dark.
Crows cling motionless to frozen wires.
Loneliness grows like seeds
in an empty field.
Down the hall, my husband sleeps,
curled in the ship of our bed.
Perhaps he dreams his immigration dream,
where he rushes through the streets of Oslo,
suitcase repeatedly falling open, ship
preparing to sail without him.
Hooded streetlights leak wattage
onto the sidewalk. It's too early for the aging
Volkswagen that brings the newspaper
and the milkman's been gone for years.
In a world still grey with sleep, I watch
the sky curve slowly toward dawn.
Ruth Bavetta's poems have appeared in Rattle, Nimrod, American Poetry Review, Tar River Review, North American Review and many other journals and anthologies. Her books are Fugitive Pigments, Embers on the Stairs, No Longer at This Address, and Flour, Water, Salt. She likes the light on November afternoons, the music of Stravinsky, the smell of the ocean. She hates pretense, fundamentalism and sauerkraut.