Small hour of the morning stop, platform
bathed in yellow light and fog, grating
of the wheels on the rail. Luggage bumping
blends with footsteps up the narrow
stairwell of the sleeper, I hear the car
attendant offer extra pillow, bottled water.
Click of luggage latches snapping open breaks
the silence, then a child’s startled wail as
the train begins to move. Discomfited sobbing
settles quickly, soothed by a woman’s gentle
humming. I tiptoe in sock-feet, press my palm
against the thin compartment wall, sit quietly
on the carpet to eavesdrop on this comfort.
As I move my lips to shape the unsung words,
a father’s voice lifts, whispering soft tenor:
este niño lindo / ya quiere dormir / háganle la cuna
de rosa y jazmín / háganle la cama
this lovely child / wants to sleep / make him a cradle
of rose and jasmine / make him a bed
—Laura M Kaminski
12 07 2014
In response to/inspired by Luisa A. Igloria’s “Poem with a line from Ilya Kaminsky,” ending with lines from “Arrorró mi niño.”
5 Replies to “Spanish Lullaby”
Very nice! :)
Thank you for stopping by to read these — so glad you’re enjoying them!
Such a beautiful and loving lullaby
Two years later – still beautiful.