Nora won’t be back from Nicaragua
Dread darkness, stifling sound, denying light,
surrounds me as I wake from restless sleep;
no respite from the stranglehold of night
or bondage of my bedclothes’ tangled heap.
I sigh and turn, and turn and sigh once more
and yet again resort to counting sheep.
Then curious noises that I can’t ignore;
light from the hall outside invades my space,
outlines a figure standing at the door.
No cause for fear, a dear familiar face,
the smell of June, her scent, is on the air;
my mother, welcome always, any place.
She does not stay, but asks if I’m aware,
from Nicaragua, Nora won’t be back –
it strikes me as the oddest thing to share,
but somehow it’s exactly what I lack,
for all at once I’m taken by the tide
of sleep, no more a tense insomniac.
But when I wake to morning light, clear-eyed,
I’m puzzled by this sudden night-time ease.
It’s twenty years ago that mother died.
And who is Nora? Someone, tell me, please.