Robert Nisbet, “Sleepover”

Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet whose work has appeared in the USA in San Pedro River Review, Main Street Rag, Third Wednesday, Burningword Literary Journal, and many others. He has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize

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The game in Cardiff was the Grand Slam one
and on the train back Rhys keeled over.
The boys said, Put him under the seat for now,
save embarrassment, and then forgot about him,
so he woke in a siding way downline, midnight.

The guards found him, thought, Another drunk,
and carted him off to the waiting room, laid him
on a wooden bench, in recovery mode.

The first to nag at Rhys’s mind were the mice
(they breed in waiting rooms, under the floorboards)
and they called, Yip, yip, nip, nip, at his head.

But Rhys got through all that, until the blackbird
started to sing. It was daybreak and a truly beautiful
April day. Oh Day, Song, Life, such radiance,
sang the bird. I have sired and bred and built my nest,
he sang. I celebrate the universe in its entirety.
How glorious. Wake up, you lazy bastard.

Down in the greyer depths of Rhyssie’s mind
the tussle stormed, joy versus stinking head.
Then a saintly guard called Francis brought him coffee,
checked his cash, put him on a train back home.

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