CANDLES AND STARS

 

 

“By my bed, on a little round table,

The Grandmother placed a candle.

She gave me three kisses telling me they were three dreams

And tucked me in just where I loved being tucked.

Then she went out of the room and the door was shut.

I lay still, waiting for my three dreams to talk;

But they were silent.

Suddenly I remembered giving her three kisses back.

Perhaps, by mistake, I have given my three little dreams.

I sat up in bed.

The room grew big, oh, bigger far than a church.

The wardrobe, quite by itself, as big as a house.

And the jug on the washstand smiled at me:

It was not a friendly smile.

I looked at the basket-chair where my clothes lay folded:

The chair gave a creak as though it were listening for something.

Perhaps it was coming alive and going to dress in my clothes.

But the awful thing was the window:

I could not think what was outside.

No tree to be seen, I was sure.

No nice little plant or friendly pebbly path.

Why did she pull the blind down every night?

It was better to know.

I crunched my teeth and crept out of bed.

I peeped through a slit of blind.

There was nothing at all to be seen

But hundreds of friendly candles all over the sky

In remembrance of frightened children.

I went back to bed …

The three dreams started singing a little song.”

 

(The Candle –  a poem by Catherine Mansfield)

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