Tears in Sleep
All night the cocks crew, under a moon like day,
And I, in the cage of sleep, on a stranger's breast,
Shed tears, like a task not to be put away---
In the false light, false grief in my happy bed,
A labor of tears, set against joy's undoing.
I would not wake at your word, I had tears to say.
I clung to the bars of the dream and they were said,
And pain's derisive hand had given me rest
From the night giving off flames, and the dark renewing.
From The Blue Estuaries: Poems 1923-1968 by Louise Bogan, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Copyright © 1968 Louise Bogan. Used with permission.