For the Newly Tired: An Orientation to the Night

This reflection is part of a collection of responses to the theme: “The View from Here” 

By Rose Percy

I’m glad you hear the sound of the sirens

That have been going all night long

They have been keeping me awake for years

I’m glad you are finally asking yourself

And everyone else

Why we have let them ring for so long

They’ve been ringing since before I was born

I’m glad you are now in the same insomnia as me,

Even if a little differently.

Often, I have watched you nod off,

Until the next alarm forces you awake

I have often thought it tender that you can even sneak in a nap in between them

Sometimes I have been able to pretend I am sleeping

Sometimes I’ve been able to make daydreams feel like rest

We may be wide awake together

But we are not the same.

You haven’t started seeing things in the dark yet

Shadows you are trying to make sense of

Movements you are trying to understand—

The night has yet to become a language to you

You still need me to tell you what I see, since your eyes are still adjusting—

Perhaps one day, morning will come and we will no longer have to squint with tired eyes

Perhaps morning will come,

and it will feel good to rest

Even as the day moves on

And so do you

Or maybe

We may never sleep again—

For now, I name the shadows,

Like an Adam made in the night

I’ve been naming these shadows for years,

I’d be happy to introduce you

But as I do, I must confess,

I have given you a name as well

In this long night, you have been called

Newly Tired,

It is not the best way to live

I hope, it is not the only way to live

But so long as we live to long for Day

At least here I am your senior.


Rose Percy is a second year M.Div student and a local licensed minister at Bethel Church of the Nazarene in Quincy, MA. Rose tells stories through poetry, songs and essays about identity, faith and justice. She is the proud plant mom of 15 plants (and counting). You can read more of her work at rosejpercy.com.

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