I wrote this poem about my little brother Paul. He's not so little now, as he was when I wrote it, but his dread of bedtime still has a bit of an edge to it. He would be happily playing or drawing or some such activity and suddenly the time would come for him to go to bed. A panic would set in. A subtle desperation you could see written all over him. The last thing on earth he wanted was to go to bed. As adults, after a hard days work there's nothing we'd rather do, but for him it was different, sort of scary.
I was reluctant to go to bed as a child as well, but for me it was more of an annoying interuption of whatever it was I was doing at the time. For Paul it seemed it was the end of his last day or something. The look on his face was frightening. This was the inspiration for "Bedtime Poem". The comparison of bedtime with death. I tried to understand why it was such a fright to him and thinking about it brought this poem to pen.
Nowadays he is a lot braver about it, but if he can avoid it he will. Summer time and weekends often see him staying up till dawn, slapping his own face when he begins to nod off, or pacing around like a cage tiger.
Reading back over this poem now, I see the similarity between it and Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night". Except that his is more about death and less about "sleeping".