While You Were Sleeping.


A little girl lies down to sleep. The house lay quiet.
Everybody else has already fallen asleep, but as she lies there,
she looks out the window and talks to God.

“Mommy, what happens when we close our eyes to sleep at night?” she asks, rubbing her tired eyes sleepily.

“Well, I’ll tell you…” God whispers back,
tucking the soft fleece blanket around her square shoulders.

“Curtains close.
Blinds shut.

I hear prayers oceans and lakes and deserts wide, and I respond to each of them, including yours.

In a village far away, a girl in a hut falls asleep to lullabies.
The lullabies swirl out the little girl’s window.
The stars begin to dance.
The stars generate enough light for crickets
in the fields to see their legs.
They rub their legs melodiously to fiddle chirping sonnets.
The crickets errupt into such a joyful song,
that the owls relaxing in the deep pine forests chime in.

Sensing the owls chiming in, the bats sing along too.

The grass can’t take all this merriment,
and it laughs so hard, it cries morning dew.

The morning dew soaks springs of grass so wet,
they beckon the sun to come out and play.
The sun stretches and leaps out from its bed,
shining red and orange  into every tree,
every birds’ nest, every rabbits’ den.
Into the eyes of kids in the village
long before they wake up to feed the clucking chickens.
Into the eyes of kids in the city,
long before the school bus comes.
Into the eyes of mommies and daddies in each town,
long before their alarm clock zings.

The sun rises and rises,
until it’s outstreached arms rest over the horizon,
just waiting to give you a morning hug
whispering a soft, loving, ‘namaste,’ to you darling,
and that is how you wake up.”

The eyes of a young girl’s in a town not so far away
flip halfway open and shut, open a little wider than before,
and shut just a pinch, and finally stay open.

“Namaste,” she calls out to God, and leaps into motion,
a brand new day to unfold.

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