Wanderer in Darkness

At some point in high school I declared that all poetry was either about religion or about love, and noted that all of my poems were about religion, since I didn’t understand love. I maintained this belief for a fairly long time, but I did write one thing in high school that I considered to be a love poem: “Wanderer in Darkness.” I initially remember thinking that it sounded rather arrogant and self-involved. It still does, but I’m actually happier with it than I expected to be before rereading it.

“Wanderer in Darkness”
Spring 2005 in New Carrollton, Maryland

A darkened blanket sets upon the world,
a shroud that covers life in inky black.
The waking world lies down to restful sleep,
and I—alone, awake—may not partake.

I wander through the darkened world each night,
a glowing lantern resting in my hand.
I search the world in my long-fruitless hope,
to find another—sleepless, searching—soul.

The dwellers of the day have gone to dream,
they’ve left their troubles for their nightly bed.
And tired as my weary mind may be,
still, I—aware, accursed—may not partake.

All through the long and restless night I hunt,
to find another for whom sleep’s denied.
Alone I bear my burden through the night,
to find another—kindred, waking—soul.