Boarding

Nurse
slept
close by.
From the dark
in the dormitory
I heard her on the creaking boards,
imagining her pacing like a wounded tiger.
There were twelve beds, mine faced the door and a corridor ochre-lit by a single bulb.
Lights out. Goodnight boys, she'd say, with a flick of a switch.
voice distant, a secret blessing.
Every night like this,
warning us:
we end
in
sleep.