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Verge 2012: Inverse


Susan Stanford

When the war started

I stopped

the paper, but

each time I hit the sack I turn on

the radio.

The news

bulletins hold me

in their predictable grip:

a lullaby (for adults)

repeated on the hour.


Helpless as a baby,

I can sleep.

The 2 a.m. fanfare.

A newsreader riffs

on the same theme:

missile, flood,

5,000, 50,000,

earthquake, suicide

bombing, hit and run,


an aircrsha,

a murder,

the death of a child

whose mama

or papa

is being questioned

by the please!

Sleep, sleep.

At last, I can sleep.

These nightly rehearsals

are homeopathic

turn my foot into a hoof,

build a tank around my heart,

form my swaddling clothes

from a callous.

I once heard a newsreader

break into sobs.

It was newsworthy.

It would have cost him his job,

don’t you think?

Verge 2012: Inverse

   by Samantha Clifford and Rosalind Mcfarlane