Kim Zach, “The Poem Wakes Me, 3:00 a.m.”

orange line

The Poem Wakes Me, 3:00 a.m.

nudging me
from my dreams, a lover
who suddenly wants my attention.

Just this afternoon I waited,
implored him to show up,
but he remained aloof,
a big tease.

Yet now, in the deep of night,
when all things are black
and still,
he whispers,
spins lovely lies,
ribbons of language
in my sleep-slogged brain.

I reach for him, desperate
to remember the rhythm,
the lines, the internal

I switch on the lamp, scribble
in my notebook
before he slinks away.

Slanting curls and loopy
scrawls, the only signs
he’d been here, like the gentle
indent in a pillow,
left by a departed


Kim Zach is a high school English teacher and a lifelong resident of the Midwest. Her poem “Weeding My Garden” appeared in the spring 2015 issue of U.S. 1 Worksheets and was reprinted in the quarterly review Genesis. Another poem, “When I Consider,” is scheduled for publication in U.S. 1 Worksheets next spring.



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