The Nightly Struggle


March SOLC–Day 18 and Poetry Friday Roundup

Every night I find my attention drawn away from whatever work I’m attempting to do toward the book waiting in my bedroom. I hear so many people say “Oh, I don’t have any time to read!” and I can’t fathom it. Reading is a deeply entrenched part of my nightly routine. Any time I’ve ever shared a bedroom, I’ve been besieged by whiney complaints. “Turn off the lights!” “Aren’t you done reading yet?” “I can’t sleep with the lights on.” Bravely I’ve soldiered on, through the missiles of discontent and annoyance. I have managed to acquire a number of book lights through the years and am now a bit more considerate about my light needs. But still, every night, I read. It may be for only a few minutes or it may be for hours.

And every night as I’m trying to work, before heading to bed, time seems to move faster. I get a bit anxious–The work is cutting into my potential reading time! I try to focus on grading or planning, but the clock is ticking (It may be digital but I swear it ticks!) and I know there is a finite amount of time. Tick. Tock. The more I work, the less time I have to read. I feel the tug of my book, pulling me away from work and toward the bedroom. It’s an ongoing nightly struggle!


The Nightly Struggle

Every evening
the struggle
My bag bulges reproachfully
with should-do’s and must-do’s
and Oh-wow-that’s-almost-overdue’s.
I dash off a few e-mails,
fine-tune some lesson plans.
I glance at the clock
then refocus on rewording
an e-mail that must be sent
But, wait!
What’s that?
Is that a faint whisper
wafting from my bedroom
where my book lies
in a tangle of blankets
in my never-made bed?
Perhaps a soft rustling of pages?
I envision my book,
resting where it fell last night,
as my hands lost their grip
and my eyelids their battle
with sleep,
dog-eared and patient,
reliable and inviting,
next to my pillow.
I could go to bed now
slide in between the covers
tuck the cat by my side
and the blankets about my neck
and open that book.
Early tomorrow I could
tackle the must-do’s
should-do’s and almost-overdue’s.
I glance at my Inbox.
I glance at the clock.
I glance at my bulging bag,
my mind already
halfway down the hall,
reaching toward the world
waiting enticingly
inside my book.
I head to bed,
abandoning the battlefield.
Victor or vanquished?
Who cares?
It’s early still and
I can read for hours.

Molly Hogan (c) 2016

For more poetry today, head to the Poetry Friday Roundup hosted by Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge.



25 thoughts on “The Nightly Struggle

  1. Erika Victor says:

    I love this and totally relate- the struggle is real here too! Tonight the book is winning (and as a result, so am I!).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, your poem calls to me. The must-do’s
    should-do’s and almost-overdue’s are very real parts of our lives but the reading/writing joys are the urgings that we need to tend to as devout lifelong learners.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. danrothermel says:

    Masterful writing. I love this line “Bravely I’ve soldiered on, through the missiles of discontent and annoyance.” Here’s another example of your playfulness in writing that brings me back again and again. “Early tomorrow I could tackle the must-do’s should-do’s and almost-overdue’s.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lisa says:

    Your list sounds daunting… I love the imagery of your book calling to you – that was beautiful! ‘my mind already
    halfway down the hall,
    reaching toward the world
    waiting enticingly’ I love that!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome poem! That’s the way I feel about reading in the mornings. I get irritated when 5:30 rolls around and I HAVE to get ready for work. Thank you for sharing this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Leigh Anne says:

    I think this poem will resonate with many of us. My books whisper to me…heck sometimes they even yell! I also read every night and I can’t imagine my nightly routine without it. Beautiful poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Matt says:

    This is why you’re a wonderful teacher – to teach a love of reading you have to truly love it yourself. I see this joy in your classroom and students and hope they are as eager to get to their books as you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cindy says:

    Me too! Me too! Oh, how I can relate! (And often choose the book over the work!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. bjdonaldson says:

    How wonderful that books are your friends that you can’t wait to visit! I smiled as I read; your slice resonates with me. Your poem captured your struggle so eloquently.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Julie Larios says:

    I sure recognize those Tick-Tock moments!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Kimberley says:

    I plan to save this poem in my writing notebook. It is what I believe to be true. My reading is non-negotiable. There is always time.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Donna Smith says:

    My computer and writing seem to pull me away from the “must-do’s” of life. I think when I got cataracts and my eyesight began to go, I stopped reading as much and have not gotten back into the habit. I would like to be back, but things call me away from the books…
    I loved your poem though and made me think that would be a good place to be with reading again!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Tara Smith says:

    My reading, sadly, will have to wait until after March – but your poem spoke to the reader in me.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You know I share this struggle, and your poem captures it so perfectly! Happy reading, Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Amy says:

    Loved this poem! I always have good intentions of reading but I ALWAYS fall asleep. I’m lucky if I can keep my open for two pages. It’s sad!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Cindy says:

    This might be my favorite poem of yours. You capture your inner struggle perfectly, but also give life to your school work and the story inside the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I certainly enjoyed reading the internal drama unfold in your poem, Molly. And this: “…should-do’s and must-do’s/and Oh-wow-that’s-almost-overdue’s” is perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Linda Baie says:

    You’ve described my nightly life, too, Molly. I hope you’ll find even earlier times to get to bed with that book. So many lovely lines, but I like “my mind already halfway down the hall”.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Tabatha says:

    I can hear that whisper and feel the pull! Nice details. Have you ever read “In Praise of my Bed” by Meredith Holmes? You might like it!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. maryleehahn says:

    I love that the book wins!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I love that you love reading that much. So do I. What’s wrong with the rest of the world? LOL

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s