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Poem of the Week

Naps I Have Known

                                for Sy Beder


There's the sermon doze: a blank stare, a word that sifts in without catching context, unrelaxing but irresistible. You don't want to be seen slumped, the lights are bright, people know who falls out. When will I be old enough to be loud & proud in my shul nap?


Better: the Shabbat afternoon nap, when you'v made it through 3 hours of services & a sugary beige half-meal. You strip to your underwear, under the covers, between the cool sheets.


The best is the opera nap. The music & scenery are glorious & you fall into it, you're wrapped in a bright blanket of sound & spectacle, in a deep velvet seat. You're not asleep, you're taking it in, you're asleep, taking it in.


A few years ago in Idaho with three high-school friends sharing a rented condo, 40 years after high school. We all drifted off at the same time. That was what cemented our friendship.


Once in Madrid, my friends & I lay down in a public park, with no fear for out stuff or our lives. Trust, comfort, 40 winks.


And in Toledo with Mercè, tea & hot chocolate in the highest spot in the city, the library's snack bar, dusty after noon quiet of new & dusk, after so much walking, a siesta as serene as if we'd slipped off in our beds.


The nod nap, you're here & over there at the same time.


In kindergarten I resisted, but when I discovered that we got up off our rugs to tiny cartons of mil, I lay down eagerly.


After sleeping through every educational film strip in high school, it took me years to stay awake in a movie. When the lights went down: clonk zzzzz.


Airplane shuteye, no matter what, I go out. Always. Sometimes my main anticipation of an international flight is sleeping like a monk in my  window seat.


I used to think I'd sleep the night before my execution.


I don't nap much, not really, don't like waking up logy, don't like to let myself go. But maybe I'm talking myself into it?

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