“There are many who don’t wish to sleep for fear of nightmares. Sadly, there are many who don’t wish to wake for the same fear.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich, Dandelions: The Disappearance of Annabelle Fancher
Children don’t say his name or try to find him.
Dad is not a word they use. His absence is a thin
Erratic line through the years. At five, his own
Father left, and never returned. Call it a pattern.
The Welfare Of My Enemy by Anthony Lawrence,
THE SHEARER’S NIGHTMARE
Old Joe the shearer had been phoned to catch the train next day.
He had a job at Mungindi, an early start for May.
So he packed his port and rolled his swag and hurried off to bed.
But sleep he couldn’t steal a wink to soothe his aching head.
He heard the missus snoring hard, he beard the ticking clock.
He heard the midnight train blow in, he heard the crowing cock.
At last Joe in a stupor lay, a dreaming now was he
Of sheep, and pens, and belly wool, he shore in number three.
He grabbed the missus in his sleep and shore her like a ewe.
The first performance soon was done as up the neck he flew.
And then he turned to longblow her, down the whipping side he tore,
With his mighty knee upon her and his grip around her jaw.
And then he rolled her over, like a demon now he shore.
She dare not kick or struggle; she had seen him shear before.
He was leading Jack the ringer, he was catching Mick the Brute.
When he called for tar and dumped her, like a hogget down the chute.
Then he reached to stop the shear machine, excited and out of gear.
And the electric light was shining, and all was bright and clear.
He gazed now out the window, half awakened from his sleep,
And down there on the footpath lay the missus in a heap.
“Gawd Blimey, I’ve had nightmares after boozin’ up a treat.
And I’ve walked without me trousers to the pub across the street,
But this one here takes lickin’ and its one I’ll have to keep,
I dare not tell the cobbers I shore the missus in me sleep.
Cut not the wings of your dreams,
for they are the heartbeat and the freedom of your soul.