Electric EDGE
Web Edition of The Ragged Edge
January/February 1997
Electric Edge

Three O'Clock

    after Elizabeth Bishop

    A flash of light, the rattling pane,
    Sleep scurries frightened like a child
    At three o'clock, I wake to rain.

    My body tenses. Not again!
    A simple prayer, pure, undefiled
    A flash of light, the rattling pane.

    Day in, day out, it's all the same:
    The coolness of the bathroom tile
    At three o'clock, waked by rain.

    Could such storms bode the final reign
    Of the staring rock unmagnetized,
    Difference that kills, the shattering pain?

    If so, somehow, I must remain
    To see bookworm, silverfish, and owl
    inherit this house, waked by rain;

    To praise the mildew's growing stain,
    Cherished indifference running wild
    Through milk soft light, the rattling pane
    At three o'clock, I wake to rain.

    -- Constance Merritt

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