18. The poet…


The poet closed her eyes, loosened her grip on the child (just a little), and tried to think. It was very hard with all the crying. And the screaming. And the screeching. The little creature just wouldn't be quiet. (It had always been very quiet in the little house by the sea.)

The poet wondered what the mathematician would do if she handed him the child and walked away. He would probably take it back to his own little house. She wouldn't be able to go home, of course. Though the poet would be sad to never see her little house again, there was so much of the world yet to see. He would take good care of the child, she was sure. She could hand the child to him right now, and then all the crying and the screaming and the screeching would be his problem.

The poet opened her eyes, meaning to look just long enough that she wouldn't drop the child handing it over. But the child's eyes were open too, and looking straight at her. The child still cried, as if it didn't know how to stop, but its eyes were fixed on hers, brown and steady and unwavering. And the poet found a song writing itself in her head.


This is what she sang:

You can walk the darkest highways,
You can sail the stormy seas,
You can visit cities bright and cities bold;
But when your feet get tired
On that shining silver path,
Remember a single line of gold.

My hands will light a candle in the darkness
Though my heart will want to keep you safe at home
Many roads I've travelled, down dark and dusty shadows,
But there are still so very many stories to be told.

There'll be a light in my window
Whenever you come by
Shining in the night so clear and cold
Days or months or years gone by
I will still be waiting
Waiting to hear how all your stories will unfold.

My hands will light a candle in the darkness
My voice will whisper hopes for your safe journeyings, my darling,
Many roads I've travelled, in dark and dusty shadows,
But there are still so very many stories to be told.

3 thoughts on “18. The poet…”

  1. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Argh — how did I miss posting 18?? Edited to add that VERY IMPORTANT CHAPTER.

    I’ll post some kind of musical version of it — sheet music if possible, but at least notes + me singing it. Will try not to apologize too much for voice. 🙂

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