It uses up your nights, gluts the rumpled
dark with prancing chests of drawers, lingerie
you haven't worn in years, lovers going
up in blue smoke. It insists on the most
childish rules - lunch at 7, but first,
feed the one-eyed cat. Eventually
you must rise; brew the coffee; consider
recall, its clawed artful hold on your guts.
The furnace kicks loudly and the washing
machine agitates, then spins your under-
wear clean. Pour cream to lighten your drink; read
today's parking news, fall back to your unmade
bed, nest of dread. Dream eviction from the
room for which you have never paid the rent.
Bertha Rogers' poems and critical reviews have appeared
in such journals as Many Mountains Moving, Connecticut Review, Nimrod
International Journal of Prose and Poetry, Chelsea, Pivot, Yankee
and Barrow Street. Her poetry collections include Sleeper, You Wake
(Edwin Mellen 1991), For The Girl Buried In The Peat Bog (Six Swans
Artist Editions, 1999) and A House of Corners, winner of the Maryland
State Poetry Literary Society and Review Competition (Three Conditions
Press, Baltimore MD 2000). She is the founding director and editor
in chief of Bright Hill Press.