Lullaby for Anxious You

Poem by Bahar Orang, Photograph by Karen Ngo

You are not
alone in this.
I, weepy though I am,
will lull you to sleep tonight.
The stars, too, watch over you,
and they will someday guide you home.
The pebbles, too, are part of you
smooth as skin and infinite.
And the ocean, though it carries on its way,
Cares for you, loves you deep and heavy.
The earth, the soil, lifts you up and holds you still
so you will not float afar, always there,
forever-bed, for-never-lets-you-down.

Birds, too, they are with you,
and flight, we learn from them.
Come snow they go, but their music will return,
a crescendo symphony in spring.
You, too, rock to and fro
in orbit, and in song.
In summer, with the fireflies
in autumn with the rustling, golden leaves
in winter, fresh, sweet scent of pine.
And spring again, my darling friend
You sprout above the ground, limbs open
In embrace, with our place
Held steady in this gorgeous web,

You are here, essential to our
orchestra of all the things.
Let me take you in my arms
Quiet that frantic heart,
That rapid, reaping mind
Those sore and tired limbs
Fall asleep, in my lap
Rest your head, against my breast
And drift away, we’ll hold you close
Be still, save for the swaying
Of your hammock that is the universe
Gentle wind and loving breeze
Though you may be small,
Tiny, in this galaxy of endless things
Fragile as forever, nearly nothing
But you are not alone in this,

We need you here, at some center,
So that you may keep us whole.

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