I cannot remember the stories
I heard as a child at bedtime.
I must have taken them in, laughing softly,
stored them carefully in a room
in memory's house, where
I could find them once again.
I was not thinking of them when I hacked
through jungles of algebra, swayed in
the crow's nest of Magellan's fleet, carved
the water behind Nick Adam's paddle,
or stepped carefully across the stones
of Greek on the river of St. John's Gospel.
Much later, with my son fresh-scrubbed
and nestled in my lap, his blond curls
soft and damp, we found where all
the wild things are, why Peter ate
the parsley, what the two bad ants
got into, and every night
we said goodnight
to the red balloon,
a pair of socks,
the bowl of mush,
and the moon.
I have not found my bedtime stories.
They slipped out through a window,
shinnied down the tree and crossed the yard
into the forest, as quiet as a fox.
All these years they have been free,
living off the land, circled round
the fire each night, waiting for
a distant time to be the gift for
someone else's child.
2 thoughts on “Children’s Stories”
I love this poem so much. It made me tear up, as I remember the feeling of rediscovery when my children were born and I got to find the stories again. Thank you. I’m so glad I found your blog.
Thank you, Bridgette! You said it right—the rediscovery of stories—and for me, the discovery of many stories I had not known. I’m glad you found Danteswoods!
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