musings, life lessons & poetry from Theresa Jarosz Alberti

Poetry Challenge – Day 17

Welcome to Day 17 of my 30-Day Poetry Challenge!

Comment on today’s poem to win a copy of my poetry book, “(After) Confession… I’m giving away a copy every day. Scroll down below the poem for more details about this Poetry Challenge.

But first, congratulations, Andy H, for winning a free copy of my poetry book! (I do a raffle from those who commented on yesterday’s post.) Andy, please email me your address so I can send your prize:

Now onto today’s poem. Don’t forget to comment, and check back tomorrow to see if you’ve won!

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Yep, stayed up too late writing this…

Late Night Love Affair

What is it about staying up late?
I’m a lark, whether by nature or nurture,
my inner clock going off too early,
rise and shine, my brain is up.
But ooh, the night-time tempts me so,
illicit, dark, shadowy freedom, playtime,
hours without the driving agenda of daytime.
Despite my early rising, the best-time
is past my bed-time.

Maybe it’s because mom often shut
our bedroom blinds by 9 in summer,
daylight and other kids still playing outside
while we were urged to sleep. Now I feel
like I’m missing out if I hit the pillow early.
Staying up late feels sneaky,
like a flashlight under the covers
reading a good book, or trying to
carefully open a candybar wrapper
so no one will hear. There’s a thrill
in doing that something
guilty and secret and hush.

The thing is, there’s so much cool stuff at night–
Late talk shows! Comedy! Snacks! Games!
Movies! Desserts! Videos! Alcohol! Going out!
Staying in! Goofing off! With internet and cable,
there’s no shortage of fun. As a teen in the 70s,
we had none of that, but the night still had
much allure. I babysat for 75 cents an hour, for
parents who stayed out late. I stayed awake
watching SNL, Monty Python, old movies,
Horror Incorporated, the Midnight Special.
The lark in me, then and now, admits to
sometimes falling asleep… watching TV,
or my face in a book in bed.

Sure, getting plenty of sleep feels grand.
It’s marvelous and fulfilling, really, and
sometimes we even do it, my guy and I.
One of us: “let’s go to bed early tonight,”
the other follows, a little reluctant. We
string along a few days in a row, so pleased
with ourselves, rested. Then a bump–
I just need to get this done, or I’ll just
turn on this show for a little, and we tumble down
the slippery slope to the dark side again,
stealing the hours, pushing away sleep’s shore…
Please, just a few minutes more?

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  • I’m writing and posting a new poem every day through the month of April (yikes!), for better or worse.
  • AND, as a gift, I’m giving away a copy of my poetry book EVERY DAY this month. FREE!
  • Sign up to WIN a copy of (After) Confession by just leaving a comment beneath the poem of the day.
  • I will pick a winner every day in April! So comment every day for a new chance to win.

OR, you can purchase your own copy of (After) Confession for the new low price of $9.00 USD, shipping and handling included! Click here to read sample poems and purchase a copy.

April is National Poetry Month, which was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.

This month’s posts are part of the  NaPoWriMo challenge — that’s National Poetry Writing Month. At, you’ll find links to other participating writers and their poetry. AND daily writing prompts for inspiration to write your own poems. Check them out.

I’m so looking forward to your comments–  it doesn’t have to be about the poem. Write anything, share the name of your favorite poet or poem, write about the weather, whatever! And thanks for reading.

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Photo credit: Abednego Setio, and Vincent Chin, courtesy of


  1. Ann Rolle Kreider

    This nails my situation! I’m staying up too late because I can. Seems I’m learning to be comfortable in the dark.

    • Theresa Alberti

      I like that, “learning to be comfortable in the dark.” That fits for me too!

  2. Ann Hobbs

    So true! I’ve really enjoyed my daily poetry..Thanks Theresa,

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thanks, Ann… I’m so glad you’re here!

  3. Linda

    This is so beautifully descriptive. I love the way you guide us in tonthe experience, calling it the illicit, dark shadowy freedom. Then you take us on a tour of your life at night. Perfect description. May I add one thing I love? The chirping of crickets who reside under my kitchen sink.

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thanks, Linda… and oh yes, the crickets are lovely, and I never even got into going out side at night and the beauty of that.

  4. Martha Bilski

    Ha. As a parent, I always dreaded those late light, summer nights. Night time was MY time. But the kiddos always had another agenda.
    Nice poem 🙂

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thank you, Martha! I know about that parents side of things, and had thought about adding something about understanding where my mom was coming from, but it didn’t quite work. I felt that same way when my kids were young… just go to bed already! Good to see you here.

  5. Sharon

    Ha! I’m definitely a night owl; I take after my mom. I usually don’t get tired til 12am or later and since I don’t normally have to get up early, I’ve been staying up later and later.

    Things I love about the night:
    Late night talk shows (Jimmy Fallon!)
    Re-runs of old shows on random channels (Golden Girls, Frasier)

    I also tend to get a burst of energy at night. It’s definitely the best time for grocery shopping, cooking, or baking.

    I like the solitude of night too, being an introvert living with two other people (and lots of cats and a dog [who is very much a morning dog, but I’ve had an effect on him]).

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thanks for sharing your love of night-time, Sharon! My kids are all up-laters too, and I can see all those plus sides. It’s funny how our culture is so structured about time and when people “should be sleeping.” I get that before electricity it was necessary to sleep when it was night, but now we have so many more options.

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