Poem

Advice on Nighttime Caregiving

Know the bulk of night

will be sleepless and embrace it

with the weariest part of yourself.

 

Nothing but bitter tea will do,

steeped too long as you pour

another glass of water

 

another mouth will drink,

as you console another crying

child who values sleep

 

on different terms,

as you — deep in the black

hour when familiar constellations

 

wend into a strange topography —

walk the dog who will thank you

without language: she who eats

 

white clover by night,

sniffling through dark

grass sweetened with dew.

 

Now sleep or wake — let go

of what you hold. The untouched

tea is as cool as morning.

— Benjamin Cutler

Benjamin Cutler is the recipient of the Susan Laughter Meyers Poets Fellowship and the author of The Geese Who Might be Gods.

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