Thurman P. Woodfork


Nightmare – The Incubus by Henry Fuseli
Nightmare – The Incubus by Henry Fuseli
Late at night, when you should be sleeping – that’s when the mind starts its trip back down the years. That’s when memories come unbidden and feelings that’ve been kept hidden away all through the day rise to hold sway. “Old Midnight” – those ancient regrets and recriminations rolled up in sorrow and pain – loves these midnight hours. He perches on the foot of the bed and lights up a smoke, settling in for the night with a smug, comfortable familiarity.

It doesn’t do much good to turn on the TV as a sort of bulwark, he just keeps giving you these subliminal nudges in the ribs and before you know it you’ve drifted off to the stuff he’s been saving up for just these hours. Bastard. You close your eyes, only to find he’s brought other eyes to stare back at you, filled with those same old questions you still can’t answer.

[•]“Memories always start ‘round midnight
‘Round midnight
Haven’t got the heart to stand those memories
When my heart is still with you
And old midnight knows it too”

Those are the words to a love song, but Lord, how they fit these late night sessions, ‘cause the heart is years and miles away from where you now lie in a futile effort to sleep, and Old Midnight definitely knows it. The ‘wilderness of war’ may be long in your past, but Old Midnight keeps dragging it into the present. And he doesn’t care how much it hurts.

Inspired by the poem, “Their Eyes” – ©Copyright February 12, 2005 by Lou J. Klaiber