Poem: When Night Falls

by pronounced "ahhh" like a sigh

when night falls
a poem for Siwe

you welcomed the quiet that held you
breast to belly
counted stars until they blurred and faded
night offered you quiet
peace
this world gave you despair
a battle you had to fight too often
night offered your peace a chance
to take root
the world gave you chaos

dealt you a hand then dared you to play it

your night was thick as second chance
necessary as third
welcome as fourth, then fifth
sixth
fifteen
we prayed that there would be more
that a lullaby would  provide lifeline
Something to promise you a morning
just one more
we wanted this for you
because we wanted you for us

but this was your night
what will we do without you as morning
without the praise songs glistening your lips
this hallelujah dancing on your tongue
this hallelujah dancing on our tongues
what is the prayer for?
for whom?

when did you sleep, angel?
when did you find a moment to rest?
soothe the ache that comes from carrying wings

you had to build out of silence and promise
flying in a world that offered you only brick
each tear crystallized
each breath a backwards gasp
how did you dance with so much
clipping at your wings?
danced so beautifully
created movement that the wind envied
made heartbeat something syncopated
a music will all danced to

when night came
your shadows took root
twisted themselves into an accepted darkness
they beckoned you
held your breath flat against sternum
told you “this is what it feels like to belong”
this is what it feels like to breathe
this is what it feels like to live without pain
and this is what it feels like to smile without burden
and this is what it feels like to love without caveat
and this is what it feels like to offer yourself a good bye

the night wanted you as much as we needed you
sleep came
held you in a comfort we could only pray you’d receive
and it’s not up to us to understand
only hope that night has come

to you who found comfort in dreams

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