Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep – Ilse Kramer

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

By Ilse Kramer

Nobody knows but you, My Lord,
That I still fear the dark.
I pray that you will send
Your brightest and your strongest angels
To guard my sleep
And keep my soul.

The bedside lamp shines on my face,
Shines on my cheek and on my tears.
My eyes are closed. I see a gravestone
With pebbles on the top. I see a Star of David.
I see myself. I am a child.
I see a swastika.

I roar with coughing, and my throat is raw,
I take some syrup, and it tastes like olive-oyster dip.
I sneeze and blow my nose, again, again, again.
I use some spray, which makes me choke.
I sit against the pillow, and I croak a curse.
I know I will not make it through the night.

Lord, while I sleep
Protect from fire and despair,
Protect from thieves and molestation,
Protect from fear without a reason,
From death before confession and repentance.
Lord, be my watchman in the night.

Ilse Kramer

Ilse Kramer

Ilse Kramer, Central’s Poet Laureate, is very grateful to George Delany, Editor and Facilitator and to Tom Viall, Webmaster.

Posted in Poet Laureate.