Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April 21st Poem - Bedtime Stories


Long ago and far away,
you are the sleepy boy, listening
to stories of girls and ghosts.
Dark shirts hang on doorknobs
while outside, trees tremble
in the vast, unforgiving night.

Somewhere there are people burning books.

Seven and wearing ski pajamas,
weary and sincere, you ask
for just one more story.
walking in the woods,
like fairy tale children,
pausing by a pond
to watch mallards glide,
scooping toads in our hands,
laughing as they jump aside.

Somewhere there are people burning books.

In the morning, a list that begins
“Bottled water, peanut butter, duct tape”
changes to the first draft of a poem.
Here, in a suburb of Washington,
I sleep and wake to the great grumbling
sound of fighter aircraft as if the skies are hungry.

Once upon a time America…

from Singing Magic by Barbara Alfaro
© Barbara Alfaro

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