When I hear the clock chime one, I know.
I will not get to sleep tonight. I get up,
eat a cold boiled egg, make a cup of tea.
I swat at odd scraps that buzz
round my brain: memories
of school gardens grown from seeds
handed out in brown paper envelopes
marked 'Larkspur' and 'African Marigold';
recollections of the interior (light-blue)
of a train. I turn on the computer, locate
confirmation of my return air ticket reservation
to Wellington. Print it out. One less thing
to worry about. The oven clock ticks.
Too loud. Too frantic. I look up a website.
Sophisticated, elegant. I check mine.
I step outside, see dandelion street lights.
How deep the night feels compared
to the scattiness of daylight. How mad
the silence of every neighbour asleep.
A taxi saunters by. The stars appear
aimless. The ocean sounds lost.
Everything smells of grass. For all I know,
I could be inside a tent, the flap undone.
Kay McKenzie Cooke