Since my twelve year old
who used to be a ten year old
who used to be a five year old
who used to not know how to talk, or walk
since he was inside the womb
not long after he was an unnamed idea
we, his mother and I, would sing a melody to him
a melody written by an angel who sheltered us all
with the notes she pulled out of the air and
strung together like blankets.
If the word blanket sounds familiar
in this context, maybe you’ve been to a place
where they hold them over you and
everyone within arms reach is
blessed into the evening
protected with peace and
Satan himself is kicked to the curb.
If the word Satan sounds disorienting
in a Jewish context, I assure you,
it’s in the original text – the disturber
right in the middle, the part we
don’t usually sing.
We only do this in the evening.
The morning is too bright and full of
the days potential to worry about
protecting us when we sleep
We could use a little disturbance after breakfast
Am I right, night owls?
The evening and the morning are different
they do different things, you wouldn’t ask
a blender to make an omelet, you wouldn’t ask
an omelet maker to fetch your shoes.
(honestly I’m not sure there’s such a thing
as an omelet maker)
This melody we sing to our child
even as he becomes an adult before our eyes
these fast moving days that bunch up and
live in the past and make us wonder where they all went
is to let him know we’ve got him covered
like all the blankets we’ve ever bought him.
We hope his future partner understands
when we show up to their house every night
to sing to him.
This lullaby we sing to our children
that was sung to you in one form or another
whose melody we’ll remember
when our children have their own children
When we’re left singing it to ourselves
Because as much as we want you to know
you’re covered, we have to remember to
cover ourselves, to be our own prayer
To wrap ourselves up in a shelter of peace.