The Napper

Strange to assume this half-forgotten
posture: the skull's weight resting
on crossed arms tingling with sleep

the body's pose invites while mind
refuses to accept. An opened can
of soda ticks at his ear. A button's

pressed its small circumference into
his left temple. Glasses folded neatly
beside a stack of charts that must

be read, but not now. Now
he'll close his eyes, think suddenly
of milk in half-pint cartons,

puddles beneath piled galoshes.
His body remembers. Faint
elevator sounds, passing steps

slip beneath the closed door.
Phone is off the hook. The secretary
has instructions. He lets his mouth

go slack, his arms go numb. He holds
his eyes closed tight. He could
be five again. He could be anyone.

:: Ron Mohring, Beneficence (2003)

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