Margaret Alice Second

Gold Star - 16,155 Points (24 January 1961 / South Africa)

Arms In The Way [rev.] - Poem by Margaret Alice Second

My arms are in the way - I don’t know where to put them,
just on the mattress doesn’t work, & lifted up onto pillows
is uncomfortable - it is exacerbated by glasses so dirty I
can’t see properly; with the study’s windows closed it is
too hot - yet opening them lets in an ice-cold breeze

The pill to help me sleep does not have that supposed
somnambulant effect beyond causing me loss of sight,
no more reading tonight, happily ensconced in ballet-
tales when my eyes unglued & I got into bed just to
discover that I just can’t sleep at all anyway

At work I read about Electrical Universe and Plasma
Theory – it meets Occam’s razor ‘simplicity criterion’,
afterwards at home I wanted to unwind with childish
stories - which drives dear Lobsang mad, he thinks
we should study every tragedy there ever can be

Only tragedy I face tonight is insomnia caused by arms
refusing to relax, stiff neck & bad back; guilt conscience
reveals I had instant soup today and maybe the strong
cup of tannin-rich tea with caffeine just before getting
into bed played a significant role also -

If only I knew where to put my arms when I lie down -
and how to get comfortable when I get into bed, even
sleeping on the floor would be fine, I really don’t care;
I have only one problem to face: - where to put my
arms when they are in the way

Topic(s) of this poem: feelings


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Poem Edited: Thursday, April 16, 2015


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