Go to Sleep My Little Baby


I sang “Hush-A-Bye” to my son every night

at bedtime. Told him not to be afraid

of the dark. Tucked him in real tight

under his Ninja Turtle sheets and comforter.

He didn’t want to close his eyes. Didn’t want 

to fall asleep. Worries about monsters.


I don’t lie to him anymore. I don’t tell him

there are no monsters. Instead, I tell him, when

the monster comes, don’t look in its face.

Close your eyes. Remember everything we did 

and everything we made that can’t be taken away.


Remember our city of empty boxes with hand 

drawn windows, felt flowers on cardboard lawns, 

and black construction paper streets.


Remember ropes braided with linen and denim 

for doggy tug-of-war, Dusty’s burnt pumpkin 

peanut butter bones, his bared teeth, our laughter.


Remember the white kitty sleeping in the alley 

on a bed of socks, painted birdhouses and beaded

windchimes, hanging from a post beside the shed door.


Remember hopscotch sidewalks, and the icy man

with his chipped tooth and cherry cones. 

Remember cookie dough, cotton candy, and Pop Rocks from the corner store.


Remember everything good when you close your eyes

because memories are spiritual. This life, ephemeral. Our bond, eternal. 


So, remember our song,


this night, these arms, 


and my promise that whenever you awake, 

“you shall have all the pretty little horses…” 


Shawn R. Jones 2022


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