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Three alarms

The penultimate alarm 
Is not like the first, which prises your eyes open from dreams 
So you catch a glimpse of the light sliding through a gap in the curtains
but you can let them drift closed, hit snooze
curl in a ball, face the wall
slip back to sleep

The penultimate alarm,
the second alarm but not the last
You might
scrunch your face up a little, but still follow
the dream you’re drifting on
It’s just a gentle warning
A ring-ring-ring of things to come

The penultimate alarm
is not the final
Which absolutely cannot be ignored
which drags you gasping
into wary sudden awareness, eyes open
hit by the light
slicing through the curtains
and you must
slide out of sleep
and face reality


About writehandedgirl

Sarah is a writer who is passionate about social justice, feminism, politics, and cats. She is a columnist and poet and currently lives in Nelson. You can follow Sarah on Twitter (@_writehanded_) or read more of her writing at


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