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"Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep"

by Willow Firesong

© 1989

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A burnt-out shell,
A weary husk,
I yearn for sleep from dawn to dusk
But then at dusk
Begin the dreams
Where life's exactly what it seems
Where memories
Torn from the past
Find understanding at the last
They haunt me still
With what was then
Unchanged, seen again and again
The way he joyed
In causing pain
I now so often see again
That I am fearful
Sleep to take
I often die before I wake
My focus changes
Toward the dawn
To what might be had things gone on
And what once was
And what might be
Stand forth in fearful symmetry
And I thank God
I told a friend
And brought, I thought, all to an end
Though now I find
That what I saw
Was not, it seems, against the law
For I, too terrified
To fight
By lack of action gave the right
To him to do
As he saw fit
For when upset I've not the wit
To fight to keep
Myself from harm
Or raise a general alarm
Which might disturb
The gentle sleep
Of one who gave their soul to keep
All when they lay
Them down to sleep
And softly to myself I weep
But I endure
The things I must
As slowly ebbs away my trust
In those who say
They are my friends
Yet do not make this torment end:
Not knowing who
I am today
Or what the role is I must play
To seek once more
For to placate
The one who now my life dictates
Who seeks to change,
The seeds has sown
To recreate me as his own.
One night though, I
No more could take
As he once more his lust did slake.
When then awoke
My one true friend
I told him, and the hell did end
Or so I thought.

But now I find
That all does play back in my mind
As I do lay me
Down to sleep;
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

(c) 1989

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Last updated on January 21, 1999