BPJ Current Issue | › Archive | › Author Index | › About BPJ | › News | › Contact
A. E. Stallings
BJP Home
  back


Another Bedtime Story

One day you realize it. It doesn’t need to be said—
Just as you turn the page—the end—and close the cover—
All, all of the stories are about going to bed:

Goldilocks snug upstairs, the toothy wolf instead
Of grandmother tucked in the quilts, crooning, closer, closer
One day you realize it. It hardly needs to be said:

The snow-pale princess sleeps—the pillow under her head
Of rose petals or crystal—and dreams of a lost lover—
All, all of the stories are about going to bed;

Even the one about witches and ovens and gingerbread
In the dark heart of Europe—can children save each other?—
You start to doubt it a little. It doesn’t need to be said,

But I’ll say it, because it’s embedded in everything I’ve read,
The tales that start with once and end with ever-after,
All, all of the stories are about going to bed,

About coming to terms with the night, alleviating the dread
Of laying the body down, of lying under a cover.
That’s why our children resist it so. That’s why it mustn’t be said:
All, all of the stories are about going to bed.

.

 

© 2010 Beloit Poetry Journal       Design by Jim Parmenter