Kate Hanson Foster

Now I Lay Them Down to Sleep

Boy with a Crow by Akseli Gallen-Kallela

The children are not baptized.
Their souls coil
into the bed sheets, unclean,

untouched by invocations.

I am their Creator.

The exaggerated ill-illuminate.

They do not know unknown, no
numina, all-seeing silence.

God is the stinkbug
that clings to the window,
quietly wanting in.

The stale retention
of a bedtime prayer

fish-breathing under the skin.


About the writer:
Kate Hanson Foster’s first book of poems, Mid Drift, was published by Loom Press and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Center for the Book Award in 2011. Her work has appeared in Birmingham Poetry Review, Comstock Review, Harpur Palate, Poet Lore, Salamander, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. She was recently awarded the NEA Parent Fellowship through the Vermont Studio Center. She lives and writes in Groton, Massachusetts.

Image: Boy with a Crow by Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931). Oil on canvas. 86 x 72 cm. 1884. Public domain.