The thinner spectre of the two,
pale, serene and half in shadow,
from the creases of the curtain,
floats a plaintive lullaby –
her song for sleepless children.
“This plastic fort for painted cowboys.
This tepee for a brave.
This mountain range of books to read –
[‘The Kid took the reins and the pony, skittering at first the skree, began the long ascent up the mountain…’]
This blanket tells our story.”
And, in the ether, crudely drawn
crayoned stars; paper ships, saturns torn
and the man in the moon
and the woman on the landing,
gleaming in the length of light,
brightening the bedroom door –
pauses, leaning in,
says, goodnight before she says
A piece from the archives, reworked a little – there is reward in rewriting – for mothers, poets, and for children, in celebration of unpaid work and education, for strength that’s wielded with loving hands and soft caresses, for your stories and your power, your sunlight, given freely, and for singing: thank you.