Four A.M

by jimowensjr

Sometimes,

When I wake up,

really, really,

really early,

like this morning,

at four a.m.,

covered in delicate amber hues of neon,

I wonder.

 

Why am I awake?

 

When there’s just no good reason,

no, regret,

no mind racing,

nothing to achieve,

no cares before me,

free of beleaguering thoughts

of things to do,

or words misunderstood,

no debts to pay,

the stabbing, burning, throbbing,

aching pains

of mid-life and foolish joy

aren’t reminding me to

act my age

and I’m lying warm in my bed,

I wonder.

 

Why am I awake?

 

Everything is still,

and quiet,

except for the hum,

that familiar friend,

the gentle white noise of

the furnace offering itself up

as my companion once more,

or maybe I hear

some creak

or rattle

drifting,

the sound of ice

dropping

into the bucket,

imagined voices,

joists groaning their complaints

against winter’s first frost,

I wonder.

 

Why am I awake?

 

Sometimes,

When I wake up

really,

really,

really early,

like this morning,

at four a.m.,

when I rise from the bed

and wrap myself in a womb

of gray fleece

and yank on my favorite pair of jeans,

staggering to the kitchen,

offering my entreaties

the gods of caffeine

and ritual

and hearing the reassuring whir of

self-indulgence

rising from the pot,

inhaling the aroma of freshly ground

French Roast

rising from the alter,

and taking my first sips

from a porcelain chalice,

I wonder.

 

Why am I awake?

 

And I smile,

full of joy

and

gratitude,

for being awake.

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