Before (15)

Before, before, we are children afraid / of sleep, of the hallway behind the door. / To keep, to keep, we are bickering traders, / offering strong for weak, and peace for war. / Meek, meekly, while the choristers swing sweetly, / we weep at the ribbon of our one reward. / We cry beneath our mother's hand, preening. / We vie to exhaust our contented steward. / And the pretty, pretty darkness is our / cooing, caressing, ever-hushing mum. / We cry in minutes, and she waits in hours, / to lay us down to sleep when we are done— / to dream the wordless weightless dreams of children, / to voice the voiceless, and sing among the wren.

forthcoming in Drift Index