Summer 2000


Barbra Nightingale

AT 3 A.M.


Miranda has made a discovery:
she knows who she is.
All this time (it's been years)
she thought she was someone else.
She's excited.
You can tell by the way she sits
through the night, working puzzles
in her mind, worrying her lip.

Watch as she puts down the pen,
takes a puff and a sip.
She'll say something like
The train whistle takes me
a long way nowhere and back.
Then get up and look for the moon.
She'll listen a long time to the music
of the stars, the wind through trees.

Night will move closer to morning.
She shuts out the light
and burrows her pillow under her neck.
The cat will curl in.
Her body feels familiar
yet inside she's different.
She drifts into sleep.
The music plays on.

Barbra Nightingale has had over 100 poems accepted for or published in numerous poetry journals and anthologies. SINGING IN THE KEY OF L (National Federation of Poetry Societies, 1999), her first full length collection, won the 1999 Stevens Poetry Manuscript Award. GREATEST HITS, a chapbook of 12 poems spanning 20 years, is expected out with Pudding House Press in June, 2000. She holds a doctoral degree in Higher Education and is Professor of English at Broward Community College, South Campus, Florida.


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