Night Staffing Problems by Eric A. Lohman at

Night Staffing Problems

Night Staffing Problems

written by: Eric A. Lohman



It’s 10 p.m. on a Tuesday
night and the sky is black.

Where are the stars?
The few I can see clocked–

in to this night shift, seem to be
hanging around the break room

and under the exit sign, by the door.
Only Mars is high over head, his red

presence felt as much as heard,
for I’m sure I perceived his call

looking straight up suddenly
to find him there, glaring at me,

warlike as ever, if ever he was.

A quick sky scan shows about
half the shift called out tonight,

probably attending some heavenly
event — black sky and tails for men

and ladies both. The cold comfort
of being able to identify even one

constellation is denied me this night
and who ever waits up, this rotation

will have to piece together the hours
with this skeleton crew, indeed

probably not enough nuts to hold
night’s scaffold from falling.

A lonely one this is sure to be
and like to go down untold —

an insignificant blip or aberration
among nightshifts and soon forgotten,

or perhaps so hope the missing stars,
shirking and galavanting in some distant

place I will likely never go — and so
I am stuck here with all of you,

the faithful stars and some of you planets
even! (let no one call you wanderers).

We know who’ll be in for the sun’s raise
when the time comes to recognize

and the exclusive club of you few
and the times we have together

will be known only to us, gathered
here in our blackness, cut out in space

by the crystalline edge of the moon,
where I can see it is already Wednesday.


(C)2016 Eric Lohman

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