Poems & Essays

20 Apr

After I Tell You About Sleeping Trees

General/Column No Response

When trees droop at night, they might actually be ‘sleeping’
Washington Post headline, May 20, 2016

David, when you were new
and I couldn’t put you down

for all the crying you did
the way you grabbed at empty air

made me feel shelled 
though I was only feet from you

I would sing you a song.  Not You are 
My Sunshine or Rock-a-bye Baby

one that has this line:
            It’s funny how my world goes round without you

I have always felt guilty about
singing that to you.  Like those words

might fly too far into the universe and
I would have to try

it—to live without you. 
On vacation, when we still traveled with

port-a-cribs and baby monitors,
I sang you to sleep with the Atlantic

keeping time outside the sliding 
glass door. If all the world went 

to sleep: all the trees, all the waves, all the birds—
but we did not, could breathe in all the slumber

the two of us: what secrets 
would we learn?  Standing 

in the silence of the trees’ canopy
maybe we could hear their lullaby. 

Barbara Costas-Biggs lives in Appalachian Southern Ohio and works as an academic librarian. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Glass, 8Poems, Riggwelter, Ghost City Press, Literary Mama, and others. She has an MLIS from Kent State University and an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. Her two sons are 10 and 8.

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