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Exorcising Anger: Demons from Oxford Summer 2017, or Awakened at 3 a.m. by Rule Breakers*

A pharmaceutical sleep not disturbed even when roommate returns each night to close my window open to the 40 degree chill that disturbs her asthma

Warm under the duvet, knowing that tonight she is gone and the window can stay open

But at 10 p.m. (under doctor’s orders to sleep) an undergrad returns my hairdryer

“You’re in bed already?”


could not believe I was trying to sleep

but this is normal to me even in a foreign land

I know my limits; I must sleep.

It means I miss those night-happenings

But it also means I can keep my sanity without too much worry about losing my grip

She knew I was sleeping

But at 3 a.m., 1 floor down diagonally from my window, music seeped into my sleep

Music, smoke, laughter: I was awake


Her sitting on the window ledge: smoking, laughing, drinking in one of the guy’s rooms

Damned that I need so much sleep to function sanely

“Hey! Up here!” yelled from my bed, hoping they will think it’s the faculty advisor

It all disappears

I return to my pharmaceutical sleep

Sure I won’t remember this …

Till I see her at dinner the next day.

*A result of the Sixth Annual Sandhill Writers Retreat at St. Leo University (May 2018) - muse: Ann Barngrover

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