Muse for Monday

MantraWe live in a 24-hour world. Just fifteen years ago, you would have been hard pressed to find more than greasy spoon chains and convenience stores open all night. Now, it is commonplace to find most anything you can imagine available in the darkness. Who makes this happen?

Welcome to the graveyard shift. Affectionately named after the witching hour, the graveyard shift houses more denizens than merely the bakers, newspaper reporters, police, nurses and retail stockers. Our global economy offers work remotely to the other side of the world where the residents teem in the daylight despite the moon reigning over your land.

It takes a special breed of night owl to preside over the workplace in the night. They are not your party animal. They function in a totally different biorhythm then the mundane mortals who inhabit the daylight. Ironically, the majority of their Mates are day walkers.

Unlike baseball widowhood, being a widow(er) of the night is different. Mate does not come home in an altered mental state any more than other Mates arrive from their jobs. The difference is the time of day. Mates learn to savor breakfast and a matinée in the way other couples savor supper and the late show.

High Risk

Not much protection for the wearer

Some of the overnight jobs are high risk. Doing them in the daytime presents hazards which are amplified in the darkness. The commutes are riskier. The strangers are stranger. The things which go bump in the night are out and under cover.

Mates of night workers are acutely aware of the difference in risk. They commiserate with other night widow(er)s about the loneliness of going to bed alone, the fear of not knowing and the depth of the silence the night offers.

Mantra is going to take you to spend the night. This is not your typical slumber party. She offers you the tale of the night widows and widowers in Night Shift.

Night Shift

A long shadow reaches across the night.
Your side of the bed is crisp and cold.
The clock ticks ticks ticks the time away.
All the sashes are pulled down tight,
But a damp chill rides on the draft
Begging for the warmth and light of day.
The hours swept away without sight.
How long in the danger do you stand?
Did you lose the time? Can you say?

Sleep is elusive, furtively sneaking,
Refusing to get into the half-empty bed.
The clock ticks ticks ticks the time away.
Fugue dreams flash, flicker and fade.
Cyclone spinning the brain from the head.
How much longer to the dawn of new day?
Will the hobgoblins retreat into the mist
Or venture further toward the fore instead?
They’d abide your command if you’d say.

But you are out in the cold of the night.
Home is but an empty shell all alone.
The clock ticks ticks ticks the time away.
Demon Fear puts up a mighty fight,
Wrestling reason, probability and chance
You’ll walk through the door, break of day.
Your smile, more today, a welcome sight.
Separation anxiety creeps off.
Please don’t leave again, what do you say?

(c) Red Dwyer


Have you ever worked the graveyard shift? Have you been the night shift widow(er)? Are you better in the night or by the light of day? Which job do you think is worse by night than by day?

(c) Red Dwyer 2012
Re-Blogging of this or any other post on Momma’s Money Matters
is expressly forbidden.
Copyright and Privacy Policy available
in The Office.
Leave a comment


  1. Mo

     /  July 17, 2012

    I have only worked on the other end…. not the waiting at home end. I can tell you that it is definitely harder to not only stay up but to acclimate to all night work. Let’s face it our bodies aren’t made to be up at night. I personally LOVED to work at night MINUS the danger increased aspect of it. The freaks and bad ppl do come out at night more often then not. I think that the person at home without the “busy” things to do at work or the time with the ol’ brain engaged has the hardest job.

    P.S. If the clock was driving you crazy here is one simple step to making it a non-issue.

    Step 1:
    Take out batteries… or throw in the ever present junk drawer in the kitchen. I promise you will know the time on your phone anyway:p

    • LOL! No batteries in that one. I would have to silence the pendulum. Thanx, Mo <3

  2. Mo

     /  July 17, 2012


    *Mental note.. If ever in AM’s house destroy the pendulum arm while no one is looking*

  3. I am the night owl, but my husband and I often have to spend time apart for various reasons. I know it’s hard to sleep then. I can only imagine knowing one’s loved one is out and possibly in danger. Great poem. 🙂
    Angela recently posted..Ten ways to love: Forgiving without punishmentMy Profile

  4. I love my night owliness. It does make it hard to function the next day, but I love being awake while the rest of the world sleeps: hence the name of my blog: “Before Morning Breaks.”
    Barb recently posted..Why We Love Scout FinchMy Profile

    • I do quite a bit of writing in the dark as well 😉 So very good to see you today, Barb!

  5. Bear

     /  July 18, 2012

    Being the one who is out working in the night I know what it’s like to have time on my hands to think and worry about what might happen. I choose not to dwell on bad things. Over the years, I have developed spidey sense. If I go to a call and something doesn’t feel right, I assess the situation a little longer before I go any further. Not much consolation, but I understand the anxiety thing. Don’t worry I will always come home.

  6. Hi Red, loved the poem,
    Yes I spent 7 yrs with a hubby who worked 12 hr shifts one week days the next week nights and often he’d work his one day off in-between so I Yes I know what that cold side of the bed feels like..

    Likewise now my Hubby knows how it feels too as I often work over night, Working as a support worker for those who need 24/7 support My night shifts starts at 3pm to 10-30pm with sleep in, and then you hope you get some sleep, you finish your shift at 7-30am next day….
    I didnt like being a night Widow, but then my children were much younger and would often keep my nights fully entertained…

    Wishing you well my friend, .. Love and Hugs
    Sue xoxoxoxox
    Sue Dreamwalker recently posted..ProphecyMy Profile

    • Blech. I despise that 12/12 schedule. Just about the time you get used to days, it is time for nights again. When my children were small was most of the times I worked nights. It gave me time to get them off to school in the mornings and see them for dinner before it was time for work. I truly do not miss those days in the slightest. Retirement is a good thing.

      Stay safe and warm these holidays, Sue <3 Much love and {HUGZ} <3

  1. Cruel and Unusual | Momma's Money Matters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.