“Night” By: Bret Lott ?
What is the purpose of this short poem? And who is the audience?
He woke up. He thought he could hear their child’s breathing in the next
room, the near-silent, smooth sound of air in and out.
He touched his wife. The room was too dark to let him see her, but he felt
her movement, the shift of blanket and sheet.
“Listen,” he whispered.
“Yesterday,” she mumbled. “Why not yesterday,” and she moved back
He listened harder, though he could hear his wife’s breath, thick and
heavy next to him, there was beneath this the thin frost of his child’s breathing.
The hardwood floor was cold beneath his feet. He held out a hand in front
of him, and when he touched the doorjamb, he paused, listened again, heard
the life of his child.
His fingertips led him along the hall and to the next room. Then he was in
the doorway of a room as dark, as hollow as his own. He cut on the light.
The room, of course, was empty. They had left the bed just as their child
had made it, the spread merely thrown over bunched and wrinkled sheets, the
pillow crooked at the head. The small blue desk was littered with colored
pencils and scraps of construction paper, a bottle of white glue.
He turned off the light and listened. He heard nothing, then back out of
the room and moved down the hall, back to his room, his hands at his sides, his
This happened each night, like a dream, but not.