A Mojave Lullaby
Sleep, my little man-child,
Dream-time to you has come.
In the closely matted branches
Of the mesquite tree,
The mother-bird has nestled
Her little ones; see
From the ghost-hills of your fathers,
Purpling shadows eastward crawl,
While beyond the western sky-tints pale
As twilight spreads its pall.
The eastern hills are lighted,
See their sharp peaks burn and glow,
With the colors the Great Sky-Chief
Gave your father for his bow.
Hush my man-child; be not frighted,
'Tis the father's step draws nigh.
O'er the trail along the river,
Where the arrow-weeds reach high
Above his dark head, see
He parts them with his strong hands,
As he steps forth into view.
He is coming home to mother,
Home to mother and to you.
Sleep my little man-child,
Daylight has gone.
There's no twitter in the branches,
Dream-time has come.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on November 15, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.