“The Balm of Night” by Kenneth O’Keefe

Kenneth O’Keefe


Each dawn drags him from dreams and into day,
Whose light ignites the fear his competence
Will be betrayed at work or even play.
No task well done grants him the confidence
Of victors cutting down the nylon nets.
Always he feels he’s on a cliffs ledge
About to be elbowed off. So he sweats
At each endeavor to gain an edge.

But the descending sun, whose dying light
Ushers soothing shades of darkness in, gives
His spirit the release bestowed by night,
Which is the sleep that stills the life he lives.
For then, his soul, without a name or address,
Drowns in the depths of vanished consciousness.

from Rattle #21, Summer 2004

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