by Yvonne Zipter
The briefest love is sometimes sweetest,
and so my ardor for the nap.
But the litany of each
that’s ever cupped me in its lotus palm
would put you in a stupor,
and so I will not mention
the most pitiful of naps—
that of the invalid,
who lies swathed in a blanket on the couch
while the world slips past in flickering frames—
or poorer yet, the dirt nap, the specter of which hunkers
at the end of the sofa,
tactlessly licking a mossy lip.
Better to tell of the “power nap,”
all the fashion a decade past:
bears do it, blokes do it,
even preppy Greenwich teens do it
(let’s do it—let’s fall asleep).
Of course, last century we were all
hungry for power: military, electric, personal.
New to my list
is to doze upon the maple floorboards,
the narrow face of one dog
on my thigh, the head of the other
on my arm as they bathe me
in a kind of elixir
of kibble-scented breath
and the musk of waxy ears.
But easily the pleasantest of naps
is that on a Sunday afternoon—
in the summer, if at all possible—the fragrance
of new-mown lawn filtering through an open window,
a fat fly tapping at the screen,
and Pat Hughes, Voice of the Chicago Cubs,
intoning the stats like a chant,
which sets you adrift, for a moment,
like a pharaoh in a boat,
paddling toward heaven
with all the things you love.
Published in Chicago Cubs, Lyric, Youth | Link to this poem | 5 Comments