Photo by John Richards

Photo by John Richards

Is a red, terrycloth wash rag
Clasped tightly in my hand as I sleep.
The Spirit, within, grants me peace
Till sleep comes on, if and when it can.

I lost it once, so substituted a blue one
For the night.
It wasn’t the same.
Dreams were hurting my brain
As if the forces of nature were.
Out of joint.

My God expects little,
Offers less.
If I’m true to It,
I will be secure.

Repeating a litany of good wishes for others,
In hopes that neglecting my own desires
Will prove selfless generosity, turning over into
Blessings, earned by not asking,
I conjure up childhood prayers, “Now I Lay Me(s)”
In the voice of one who’s three.

But that’s not all.

God comes along with a side-kick.
“Navy Blue,” the cowboy bandana
Kept on my pillow, at the ready for an allergic sneeze.
Not a spirit, we carefully plot
Our territory,
Guarding against contact too close for comfort,
Necessary, though unwanted, he spends the night
As well.

So, the three of us, unlikely bedfellows,
Meet the dark,
Hear the distant coyote calls,
Keep the goblins away,
Clutching the last rays of day,
Till diaphanous Slumber
Can make her way to our bed.