Soft! Night is sinking into their skins,
while crickets chirp and the dog wuffles in her sleep!
Leaves are falling from birch and maple,
but summer cannonballs still splash high in dream,
canoe trips on lake Champlain still ripple,
and mountaintop vistas still shimmer.
Soft! Night is sinking into their bones,
while teachers ponder and parents sleepless wait for dawn!
Tomorrow is soon enough for algebraic equations
the War of 1812’s diplomatic maneuvers,
and Newton’s first law of motion.
Soft! Night is sinking into their organs,
while principals snore and the class rabbit huddles in her cage!
The copy machine hangs on standby,
football helmets wait for tousled heads,
and test tubes glitter in moonlight.
Soft! Night is sinking into their breathing,
while truckers plough interstates before the morning bus!
Backpacks stand ready by the door,
Alarm clocks tick toward the hour and minute,
and the first bell trembles with anticipation.
Soft! Night is sinking into their heartbeat,
while salesmen murmur, and librarians wheeze!
Frisbees flew in summer’s last gloaming,
chalk waits in trays below the slates,
and peacock-hue begins to gild the East!