Published on Academy of American Poets (

Lullaby for Anyone

Excuse me, lover. I’m busy foretelling
and protesting your end. Whether I hunt,
gather, barter, or sell, what I worry over

is the order: live oaks, shorelines,
wide-eyed and flammable
creature I adore. By day, I admit

no shadow as backup: crow, please keep
your clever forensics. What would I do
with a cardboard guitar, a map of the planets,

and a box of building blocks,
alone? Another bereavement
I haven’t unlearned: to bury one hope

inside another, and I, having made a home
of limbo (I keep a black hole more spotless
than cozy), once traveled through time

at will, invisible. Now, not so free. My beloved
grows heavier, hardier, heavenward.
Certain grief pre-scorches me.


Copyright © 2015 by Stephanie Ford. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 14, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“For me, insomnia invites a nightly rendezvous with dreaded truths: that survival is ridden with compromise, and that love further entangles us with loss. This poem attempts to make a song of entanglement—something to hum while I try to figure out how to love better in spite of, and because of, my fears.”
Stephanie Ford


Stephanie Ford

Stephanie Ford is the author of All Pilgrim (Four Way Books, 2015). She lives in Los Angeles.

Date Published: 2015-12-14

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