You tucked her under blankets

Pleating rainbows over daffodils

You shined your light down every crack

Opened the closet door

To show her where the monsters never were


Ignore the wars

You said

The rats were sent away

And when you left

In stole the moon

To blow out all her dreams


She heard you through thin walls

Laughing and playing politics, you

Old secret folks

Who keep dominion over all your doors and cracks


But it was you who told her

Forget this room and dream

So it was you who, in the dark

She stopped believing in


She rose against your clocks that night

Insistent in the damned moonlight

Embracing dark she rose and swore

Your stories had come real


It’s the thing about a piper, that

You’re gonna have to pay


Come light of day she marched

Recalling blankets

Pleating peaches over smiling stars

All unarmed you raised her well, to come when called

So unstalled she followed who she knew could move


Rainbow-darned and far beyond them

Twisting, charmed – a flute-song road

What soldiers fell who failed pursuit

And lay till buried by its load


It’s the thing about a piper, that

You’re gonna have to go


And following well your innocent

His wily battle cry

Spent flooding woods by faery ride

By tramp each brittle town


A hard dream – march on old enchanted

Whistler drew them to the sea

And left them there with trance supplanted


Rat and man chase longer ways than flee


Would never old wars end by children’s wishes

Nor yielding oceans open up new ways

What pope, which king?

Bereft, they begged for song beyond them

But music sooner moves than stays


It’s the thing about a piper, that

You’re gonna have to play


Lost innocents, yet blessed by knowing

Dreams as equals of their heedless reason

At season’s shift came ships and fast

In chains lining harbor and tempest the sky

Board boats a site faster than tale


Were we once a people more than roving war

Were ever wars before the children came

Chocolate for lunch and they’re riding now

Rolling ship, emergent sea

And with not a prayer of ceremony

Piper let them be


If one good prayer would reconcile

Who they’d been with who they were

Then home again and keep her well

When ever a song were heard