After books, a song and bottle,

I think my granddaughter will sleep

through the night.

But at the stroke of twelve, as in

the Cinderella story, the spell I cast

is broken. She wakes up.

I try everything, except

letting her cry herself to sleep.

Nothing works. And then

I look out the window. Clouds

that had obscured the night sky

have drifted away with the hours.

Bundling her in a blanket,

I carry her into the garden –

Orion visible in the heavens,

the waning moon just risen in the east,

Isn’t the sky beautiful? I sigh, then

make a wish upon a star –

a wish that moon beams and star dust

will fall heavy, like gold coins,

on her eyelids.

When she wakes at dawn, bleary-eyed,

we sit on the porch, watching the sun

paint the underbelly of clouds

in bands of mauve, salmon, pink and gold

that in long minutes fade away.

And she sighs, Isn’t it beautiful?