Perhaps it has been a long night
Perhaps, the sky is beginning
To take on a different colour
Brightening, growing light.

What if those wakeful hours
Were not a frustrated waste
Of lonely and unwelcome
Alertness, of misspent rest?

What if instead we saw
That time as keeping vigil
For unnamed strangers
Or even the world itself.

Those hours were not spent
In vain. We bore witness
To the quicksand core
Of the human condition.

We shared the frustrated
Longing of sleeplessness
With other souls adrift
On the tides of the night

And somehow, we made it
Through another night
Dark-circled and weary
But with steely fortitude.

Release the growing panic
Of seeing the day arrive
And remember it is only
The earth turning…

The light streaking across
The sky is just a reminder
That you are being gently
Carried closer to the sun.

Note: Most of the time I write for this Insomnia Companion series very late at night, in the darkness when I cannot sleep. But I actually wrote this not as I watched the sun come up, but as it went down. I can see the edges of the sunset from where I sit at my desk. Last night I was up until at least 4.15am (the last time I looked at the clock), after quite a lucky spell where the insomnia was at bay. And I can’t escape a vague feeling of dread as we slowly sink into darkness, and I know there is another night ahead, with no predicting how it will go. This poem is a little reminder to myself to worry a bit less, to take it in stride, and to breathe.

Photo by Marty Finney on Unsplash