Rockabye Baby

The Daily Post – “Bedtime” It started as a different take on “Rockabye Baby” which I always thought was kind of a dark song to sing children to sleep. It was supposed to be funny, but it got real dark real fast.

The cradle was perched
High in the tree,
Rocking loose twigs
Down to the scree.
A small mass of people
Gathered below
Pointing in horror
At the unfolding show
Of a cradle swaying precariously
With a babe tucked inside
Squealing obliviously
To the fact she may die
With one stiff wind,
With one solid blow,
Crash to the rocks
Far down below.

How she got up there,
How this transpired,
No one could tell you,
To do so required
Supernatural powers
And evil intent,
Witch’s foul doings,
A soul’s dark decent,
To do such a thing
To such a young babe,
The villagers muttered,
Scared and afraid.
“A curse is upon us!”
The babe’s mother moaned,
Stricken by grief
Her screams whipped and blown
Away by the winds,
Foreboding and cold,
Unnatural and vicious,
Something quite old
Than time or than God
Created such winds,
To tear ‘part this village
Of family and friends.

The bows creaked,
And threatened to break,
The babe felt first terror
With a rock and a shake
Of the cradle by wind
High up in that tree,
A flash and a rumble
A mother’s drowned plea
To her God for assistance,
For mercy, for grace,
Knees scratched and muddy,
Rain on her face,
Upturned to her baby,
So high above.
“Please save my baby!
My child! My love!”

The men of the village
Tried all their might
To save that poor child,
Wet and with fright.
They attempted to scale
That knobby old tree
Wet with the rain
And fraught with debris
Blown by winds,
Twigs and small scree,
Scratched at their faces,
Made fingers bleed.

The tree soaked it in,
Their blood and their tears,
And grew darker still;
It had lived countless years.
Its branches had held
The darkest of souls,
Thieves and killers,
Hung, in parts or in whole,
By vines and by nooses,
Until their last breaths
Soaked into bark
Absorbed countless deaths.

One more soul
It would collect this foul night.
As a figure watched on
Far out of sight,
Away in the woods
Shrouded in black,
Singing and swaying
Holding a sack
Rattling of bones
And other dark things,
She chanted and cackled
Continued to sing,
A song for the children
To fall sleep at night,
A song of a child
In perilous fright.

The witch in the trees,
Scribbled this spell
Into dirt, into ash
A song cast in hell
To be sung by mothers
To children fore bed,
Covered in blankets,
Resting their heads,
At last finding sleep
In the darkest of nights,
The suffering of one
Protects us from fright.

The men they did try
So save that poor babe,
But sacrifice requires
A dark sated grave.
The mother did wail,
And scratch at her cheeks
The women held fast
Lest she did peek
Through their fingers and hair,
Against her wet eyes,
The broken ash cradle
Where her poor baby lies.
Despite their best efforts,
That cradle did fall,
And down came her baby,
Cradle and all.

Bedtime

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