Settling For The Night

It's a custom with my youngest
to sprinkle "sleeping dust"
over his eyes
before closing them,
combing the sleep down through his hair
and tenderly over his forehead

good night, Dad,
good night…

I listen to our children breathing the night,
their tiny heads under the covers
gone somewhere where we cannot follow
but at least they will return;
the stars of some eternal night
speckle their hair
and their faces are like clocks
in the bedroom twilight.

Their morning is afternoon to us;
their afternoon will see us settled for the night;
some quiet Sunday perhaps
the sun through the blinds will raise
its black ladder on my bedroom wall
and the child fists
will have become adult hands
that will sprinkle the sleeping dust
over my closed eyes
before combing it down
through my peppered grey hair…

Good night, Dad,
good night…

by Ifor ap Glyn

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