(By Gracie Prior)
In a fit of seeplessness, I walked out onto the balcony into the crisp air of an August night. The sky's expansive face was freckled here and there by a cloudy film, the evening's fair complexion. As I gazed above me, a star streaked across the firmament like a tear falling from the infant night. Another followed an arc along its path and disappeared. Why was he cying, this comely child? I stood in wonder, pulling my robe tighter against the chill. A star raced here and another there. Deeply touched, I saw the countenance of heaven spew tears of light across the sky. I paussed a few moments with the lad till my neck grew tired and my flesh shivered forn the cold. "Be at peace, Child of Night," I whispered. Reluctantly I left my post and sought my place of rest.
Sleep at last stole over me till a dreamless woid was bothered by a lonely mournful cry. It traveled from my brain down to my soul and to the ear. Would the child of night not let me be?
Again the voice came louder. This was no phantom call. Like endless trips on endless nights, my child's summons reached my heart and pulled me to his side. His little body had a chill while mine was warm and ready. I held him close and as we rocked I sang to hm, old melodies to a newborn mind. I felt his body release the darkness as he playfully sang his own song. I became a stranger in a secret world. His tiny voice was so airy, like a sring of stars caught on a spider's web. "Baby." Like a wisp of color born of a dream, he spoke, "Momma." He lingered awhile between sleep and wakefulness, not aware of my presence. I looked on him in love. Still tired in body, I no longer resented having been roused fronm a deep sleep. His skin by glow of the evening lamp rivaled the milky expanse of heaven. His face was to me a master work of art.
He threw his timy arm around my neck and healed old wounds still tender. Oh, little son, you spoke of things eternal. What need was there for sleep? Outside the skies were reignend by Child of Night, but my arms encircle you who rule the morrow.
(Gracie Prior is the pen name I use for my literary material.)