“Prodigal”

Too many hours into the night, I sit
Alone on my bed—too big for but one
Under the grand imagined canopy—
Surrounded by a scattered life’s remains.
From books piled high upon, beside the shelves
And papers kept coralled in boxes, tubs
Regardless of their age, content, or worth
To a now dusty mess of cables, parts,
And whole computers, laptops, towers, both,
Now slipping toward their silent, unseen death
And with the store of data they contain
Now slowly rotting, bit by bit, away.
Oh, what keeps me so long each night awake,
For hour after hour, melancholy,
Putting my mind to incidental work—
If any work at all—that could be done,
And would be better done, once morning dawned
If I would but conserve those wasted hours
For needed rest and slumber’s better use?

I began this late last year—no later than November, which sounds about right—but stalled in the middle, uncertain as to how to proceed beyond a vague impression that I wanted to get across somewhere in the next few lines. When I looked the piece over recently, I saw how I could extend it, and did so. This slight discontinuity between original conception and final conclusion may come through; I hope not, but I don’t see any way to readily fix it.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you liked this poem, or you didn’t like it, or it made you think of something, or … please leave a comment to let me know.) If you liked this, you can also read other poems I’ve written here on my blog (starting with yesterday’s archive installment, since the full archive is by now somewhat daunting); I’d especially like to know which poems you think are my best.

This poem is also posted on my wiki.

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