Slumber by Rebecca Shivji


Exhausted, I long for sleep.
The sort smudging deep
into restful heaviness,
like Cezanne’s Card Players,
who sit studiously still
in shadowy gloom.

Instead, my slumber
resembles a fickle
house of cards.
Such careful placement
builds lengthening breaths,
leading to tantalisingly high
triangular layers
towering upwards
towards restful completion,

but all too soon,
progress is negated
as the cards

Awake once more, amidst
a deck of frustration,
thoughts speak
through the silence:
“Tired, should I give up?”
“Tired, pick up to try again!”
“Tired, I dream of dreaming...”