The moon lies on the river
like a drop of oil.
The children come to the banks to be healed
of their wounds and bruises.
The fathers who gave them their wounds and bruises
come to be healed of their rage.
The mothers grow lovely; their faces soften,
the birds in their throats awake.
They all stand hand in hand
and the trees around them,
forever on the verge
of becoming one of them,
stop shuddering and speak their first word.
But that is not the beginning.
It is the end of the story,
and before we come to the end,
the mothers and fathers and children
must find their way to the river,
separately, with no one to guide them.
That is the long, pitiless part,
and it will scare you.
Lisel Mueller's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Bedtime Story by Lisel Mueller )
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
William Ernest Henley
- Let not this earth be divided, gajanan mishra
- With situation, hasmukh amathalal
- Misery Loves Company, Bill Cantrell
- Hot Summer Tanka, Toshie Nohara
- No need to ask, gajanan mishra
- Truth, Tony Adah
- Walking the dog, Nassy Fesharaki
- Prince Charming, Electric Lady
- With promising words, hasmukh amathalal
- pray to me, tara mahdavi