Blue Light

A pain in my leg wakes me at 4.
I stand to stretch out the cramp.
Blue light pulses on the ceiling.
I part the drapes. Across the street
an ambulance ticks. In a pool of light
from a street lamp, an old man
is trundled out, an oxygen mask
on his face. His wife follows in robe
and fuzzy pink slippers. They depart
in silence through the empty streets.

When I was small, my Mum told me
to say a prayer whenever I see
an ambulance, or hear its siren.
I return to bed, thoughts flashing.
Unable to sleep, I try World Service
and Shipping Forecast. Something
reminds me of Mont Saint Michel
and how the narrow causeway floods
when the rising tide rushes in
faster than a man can run.


David Olsen‘s Unfolding OrigamiΒ won the Cinnamon Press Poetry Collection Award, and Past Imperfect, his second full-length collection, is new from Cinnamon. Four poetry chapbooks are from US publishers. He holds an MA in creative writing from San Francisco State University.