Lullaby for Water

Lullaby for Water

by Martha Pendergrass Templeton

The path opens like a gift,   

    and we inch in, 

   unwrapping as we go. 

      We are looking for a

              Small Thing, 

   but every rock, every flower, 

every slippery clump of tired earth, 

     soaked and hanging out to dry 

  seems to grow beneath

    my searching feet.

          Only I am small. 

 I settle in beneath a shelf of rock.

    A creek bed curves below, where

you gather and pool and rush again, 

          ever winding toward the lowest place,

  ever smoothing, ever cooling,

       gently cooing  like 

     the newborn voice of God.

It comes to me to take you in my arms,

    as if you were crying, 

        your flailing banks unswaddled

             in the vast expanse of night. 

As if my song could soothe your wailing, 

   calm your current, ease your fears.

     As if you weren’t already 

rocking me. 

           It feels like that.

    Like the upended notion

     of a child reaching out to hold

a crying mother in its toddler arms. 

    My memory roils with healing,

          with the balm of your voice 

              covering my anguish in

    holy cradles like these,  

          dappled in darkness 

and tattered specks 

      of Light.

  A breeze flows.

           The sun seeks your ever-moving face, 

 and together you project a show of ripples 

on the rocky shelf above. 

       Poets freckle the rocks around me.

We are sandwiched in Light

         and teeming with  words  

              and words  and words. 

Could it be you need the salve of music 

     falling from our aching lips? 

  I gather what has often gathered me

        to my cautious breast 

and begin dropping words like 



                           of a



 And if we do not sleep, 

         together we can dip our toes

       into the soothing lyrics

            of this sacred