Poem October 2021
Advice on Nighttime Caregiving
Know the bulk of night
will be sleepless and embrace it
with the weariest part of yourself.
Nothing but bitter tea will do,
steeped too long as you pour
another glass of water
another mouth will drink,
as you console another crying
child who values sleep
on different terms,
as you — deep in the black
hour when familiar constellations
wend into a strange topography —
walk the dog who will thank you
without language: she who eats
white clover by night,
sniffling through dark
grass sweetened with dew.
Now sleep or wake — let go
of what you hold. The untouched
tea is as cool as morning.
— Benjamin Cutler
Benjamin Cutler is the recipient of the Susan Laughter Meyers Poets
Fellowship and the author of The Geese Who Might be Gods.