Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Light Sleeper

You were a witness
To so many crimes
In your lifetime, my friend,
No wonder most nights
You can be found
Testifying in a trial
In some country
Whose language
You don’t understand.

The proceedings
Interminably slow
With more corpses
Being dragged in
Their ghastly wounds
As you recall them
In your own eyes
And news photographs.

You’ll be asked
To return tomorrow
So once more
You’ll crawl out of bed
And grope your way
Toward the silent
Crowded courtroom
They’ve set up
Just down the hall.

Credit


Copyright © 2018 Charles Simic. Reprinted with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Autumn 2018.

Author


Charles Simic

Charles Simic received the Academy Fellowship in 1998 and was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2000. 

Date Published: 2019-03-06

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/light-sleeper