Nolens Volens by Russell Bittner

My friend Nolens justlike me goes
to bed unwillingly.
Nolens thinks that sleep is rot;
Mom, however, thinks it's not.

"What the heck," I hear Nol say
"sleeping leads to tooth decay!"
Nolens has a point, I thinkÍ
Mom, however, doesn't blink.

"Sleep's not right for guys like us-
guys who spit and curse and cuss!"
Nol - it's clear -loves sacred texts;
Mom politely genuflects.

Then, as I'm about to swear,
I see Nolens grab his bear,
hibernate, and take a chair
high up where there's no there there.

Nolens's fingers, once asleep,
leave off fleecing Bo Peep's sheep
wherein I discern the rub:
Nol has fallen for the cub.

I next grumble fitfully
as the clock strikes half past three,
sinking me with each dull clink
Mom, however, doesn't shrink.

She, instead, has darker plans:
"Afternoons," she countermands,
"aren't like mornings made for naps;
pillows take the place of laps."

Volens now unmasks my frown
as Mom gently swings me down,
sending me between the sheets
into rapture that entreats

me to ask for one more thing
to divest of sleep its sting:
that while sucking on my thumb,
I can think of Nol as chum.

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