Ready the downy cradle.
Pull tight the bedclothes.
Open wide the window.
Let in the night spirits.
But slumber does not come.
Worry spins me awake.
Hypnos, Morpheus, Masters
of Night; strike me with your sleep!
Borne from this midnight moment,
into the deepening winter
blackness, into the house
of the gods, I am born
into the red fox setting stealthy prints in the silver snow
into the basswood bending against the biting wind
into the nightjar dancing unseen in the darkness
into the moon radiating its wisp of white
Floating upward on the altar
of the gods the heavens surround me.
Into their spell I leap,
at peace and once more asleep.
Fritz Hildebrand is a retired physician who lives in Neenah with this wife and two sons. His work has appeared in Verse-Virtual and Millwork.