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poetry Bedtime

Fear of the dark, how people felt on the eve of the presidential election, 2020.

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Bedtime

By Peter Neil Carroll

                                    November 2, 2020

Tomorrow brings the decisive election,

but already it’s two days since we turned

back the clocks, as if we could stop

the future. My two grandsons, aged 2 and 4,

too young to understand the power of clocks

have revolted, yelling themselves awake

at the crack of dawn, their parents wrecked

by a premature sunrise, what farmers once

complained was not in god’s time. I had

a friend who named his Spaniel “Time”

but could never teach it to sit or to heel,

a wise creature who lived in dog years

to a ripe age. How hard we struggle

to diminish the darkness, a futility the children

haven’t yet learned, though with or without

god they will in time. Changing the hour

in October often gave me 25-hour birthdays,

extra moments to make a fool of myself,

and maybe why politicians extended fake time

by a week. That will not help anyone tomorrow.

In former times, the polls spoke for themselves,

now microcosmic experts predict for months,

county by county, foreboding a climax

of excitement and dread. Politics has become

the nation’s most treacherous autumn sport.

Sleep tight now boys, don’t let the night bugs

bite. Tomorrow we’ll visit your future. 

Peter Neil Carroll’s latest collection of poetry, Something is Bound to Break, (Main Street Rag Press) appeared last year. Earlier titles include Fracking Dakota; and A Child Turns Back to Wave which won the Prize Americana.  His poems have appeared in many print and online journals. He is also the author of a memoir, Keeping Time (Georgia).