3 AM in the Time of Covid-19 by Laura Rutland

3 AM in the Time of Covid-19

Sleep is the silent nest of hope,
but the spirit cannot stop chirping.
The spirit cannot stop fluttering.
It lifts its head and shrieks at emptiness.
It hops up and down on the branch,
flaps its wings, fluffs its feathers.
Frantic, it counts invisible hawks.
After hours of lonely thrashing, it watches,
drunk with fatigue. When first light hatches
on the edge of the sky, vision darkens
just as daylight demands begin.

by Laura Rutland

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Editor’s note: A dramatic first line immediately draws the reader into this poem, where metaphor and allegory speak of sleeplessness and frustration.