• By Dean Z. Douthat

Graveyard Shift


By morning's light, my new-born brain's athrob

With truth's half-lie and lying words half-truth.

To sort them out becomes the day's first job

Lest they slip back unasked to sleep's dark booth.

They answer not, they vaporize as dew

Retreats before the sun's advance and day's

Old shopworn cares their worn demands renew

'Til numb, my brain for sleep devoutly prays.

Close-order, precision sub-brain drill teams

March like maggots through mildewed perceptions

And gnaw soft flesh down from new-killed daydreams

To bone-hard immaculate conceptions.

If I just knew which bones to keep or toss

The world's acclaim would cover me, like moss.


Dean Z. Douthat is a retired engineer residing in a senior living facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan

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