Sleeping on Your Side Eight Weeks After Heart Surgery

by Jean Kreiling


You form a fetal arc from brow to knee,
one thigh supported by the other’s rest,
arms bent around your heart protectively,
head bowed as if this posture might be blessed.
And after weeks of sleep that pain restricted
to supine fitfulness—a rough rehearsal,
it seemed, for longer-term and more constricted
repose, an attitude with no reversal—
this feels like Eden’s long-lost peace.  Although
you knew that you’d be glad to drive again,
to ride a bike, to lift a child, to go
to bed after you’ve watched the News at Ten,
you didn’t know that you would feel like this—
that sleeping on your side would be such bliss


J KreilingJean L. Kreiling is the author of the recently published collection, The Truth in Dissonance (Kelsay Books, 2014)Her work has appeared widely in print and online journals, including  American Arts Quarterly, Angle, The Evansville Review, Measure, and Mezzo Cammin, and in several anthologies.  Kreiling is a past winner of the String Poet Prize and the Able Muse Write Prize, and she has been a finalist for the Frost Farm Prize, the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award.

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