April 18, 2012
April 19: In Search of Durable Sleep by Jill Kelly Koren

In Search of Durable Sleep

Every night I swim shallow tributaries
in search of the Mighty Mississippi of Dreams
From out of a dead sleep I have plucked

two year old Sonny from the moth-eaten air
snatching his ankle
like a Great White attacking a seal

He is Achilles              or a giant fish
thrashing in the cold water of the river Styx
desperate for air

Now our bed is a raft
no solid frigate
stripped of its frame

a single mattress afloat on a sea of native lumber
and my daughter Esphyr rolls with the waves
she slides into the surf

says Whoa in her sleep and then

Okay as if to reassure us both
Finally she drapes herself across my middle

a human seat belt        an anchor
Awake I contemplate
and dream of a sleep deep and lasting when

Esphyr suddenly giggles
(she must have been dreaming of her brother
the only one who can cause her such pure glee)

The laugh shakes my whole body
and it must have loosened something long locked
because behind my eyes I feel a warm surge

of what can only be called Joy
Esphyr slithers toward the gunwale and releases me to the night
and all its breakable mystery

saltwater on my face

 —Jill Kelly Koren (Jefferson County)

This poem originally appeared in While the Water Rises Around Us, published by Finishing Line Press.  Jill Kelly Koren is the author of While the Water Rises Around us, a chapbook of poems.  Her poems have appeared in publications such as The Louisville Review, Women. Period., Red Lion Sq., and Literary Mama, among others.  She earned an MFA in creative writing from Spalding University. Koren currently teaches at Ivy Tech Community College and maintains a blog with poet Matthew Vetter at www.2poets.blogspot.com.  She lives in Madison, Indiana with her husband and their son and daughter.  Her website is www.jillkoren.com.

Posted In: Miscellaneous

One response to “April 19: In Search of Durable Sleep by Jill Kelly Koren”

  1. Kimberly licorish says:

    Only saltwater will do. The smell of my daughter’s skin is something magical!

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