by Duncan Bain


I used to be an early riser

For much of my childhood it was a matter of principle 

When you are six years old there is nothing so freeing 

As watching cartoons before any adults are awake

And believing, just for a moment, that the world is yours alone


Most children rise early, it comes naturally to them

They are made up of wonder and excitement at the very prospect of life

Another day of experience

Children treat mornings like a sickening romantic at the beginning of a relationship

They cannot bear to be away from consciousness any longer than they need to 


Increasingly, I have become a nocturnal animal

My life and I now comfortably ensconced in our relationship

I feel no need to rise early, because I know, or I believe,

That there are many days still to come 

Also, I have learned to enjoy the night, it is easier to enjoy now


Nighttime does not welcome the young

It holds them at a distance

We are told from the beginning that certain things are for grown ups

Casinos, wine, sex, dark chocolate

It seems only fair that we should get the night, along with these other vices 

It’s an acquired taste but we’ll get used to it


Things happen in the night that tend not to otherwise 

The silence can be deafening

That’s why we came up with dive bars and theatres and big neon signs

To fill those uncomfortable gaps in the darkness 

To feel like we’ve earned the night, beat it somehow


Sometimes we stay up so late it becomes the morning again 

And before too long, the day starts over in spite of us

But in that brief, liminal time before dawn 

We can believe, just for a moment, that the world is ours alone