In the Stillness of the Night

Written by: Deirdre Omaidin

In the stillness of the night
Thoughts palpitate my mind
Now racing with the clock -
Striking the second hour of a new day.
I lie awake beyond the quietness
Only aware of an occasional car
Marking the stillness.
Closing my eyes I think of the sleepless
Dispersed throughout the town and city.
Scores of people turning in their beds
Some disabled by troubled minds
Others who have become insomniac
And may never enjoy the peace of escape,
That world of sleep.
A car with no exhaust disturbs the silence
Disturbing the disturbed.

In happier situations at this hour
In homes, dotted throughout the town
New mothers watch over tiny babies
As they suckle contentedly,
Then having taken their fill 
From the dimpled breasts
Settle in comfort, solace and sanctuary.

At the other extremity of life
Old folk, lie awake
Watching that great clock
Ticking off the darkness hours,
Awaiting another dawn.

Across the city, the hospital lies,
Alive with light
Here skilled brisk nurses
Steal through corridors -
Answering buzzers - ringing out
Birth, pain and death.
A. & E. patients huddle in anticipation
Reacting to the unsettling question
And your next of kin is?

In a calmer night's activity,
Shift workers on the other side of the river
Pack up after a long evening
Of endless repetition
Oblivious of anything, other than
A good supper and a sound sleep.

Night time, a time for lovers
Some still whispering sweet pillow talk
In the dark stillness -
Vowing love forever, then dropping off
Into their world of contentment.

Beyond the bridge, a lone farmer
Has one last look at his sickly animal
Then falls exhausted into his empty bed.

The ticking clock has almost gone full circle
Dawn will soon unveil a rush of colour
On the twilight town, opening
Her morning chorus from treetop and garden.