Graveyard Shift

by Shoshauna Shy


While sleet or snow rages
at my windowpane,
soprano a cappella streams
from my computer
and beside it a console
with blank plastic eye
ready to blister into red alert.
I have 1.8 seconds to quiet
its pulse, another 3 to patch
in my EMT's.
I am both hand and bow
sending them like arrows
to County K or Smitt's Grill or
DuPont near the tracks.
I hear nothing more till Ricker
circles back with details not fit
for the morning news, inside scoop
that glues me to the next shift,
the next.
Fleece cushions my feet, and at hand
crossword puzzles, 3 Card Klondike,
cookbook stack and cup of hot cocoa.
Still, I ricochet between want
for that jolt of red rescue from
3 AM ennui that numbs my tongue

and hope that beyond my little patch
of black sky, everyone seeks to be soothed
by flannel, will stay tucked till dawn,
remain harmless, docile.

Shoshauna Shy’s poems have recently been published by Write City Magazine, Pure Slush Books, Cerasus Magazine and 86 Logic. Author of five collections, she is the recipient of two Outstanding Achievement Awards from the Wisconsin Library Association and was longlisted for the Fish Publishing Poetry Prize 2022. Her poems have been made into video, produced inside taxi cabs, and even decorated the hind quarters of city buses. Not a monogamous writer, she works on 7-11 pieces at the same time. She is also a flash fiction author— but that's another story!