The Canopy Bed

A Poem by Henry Hinnant

The Canopy Bed

Buried in blankets, in a canopy bed,

A boy and his mother lie cuddled and close.

With eyes deep as caverns, he chirps in her ear,

“Tell me a story,” and she pulls him near.

“Once a young woman, who was hardly more than a girl herself

Had a fine son, who grew handsome and strong.

He learned and he played and he brought the world happiness

And then, all too soon, he was out on his own.

Though miles were between them, their love held them close,

And their circle grew larger with laughter and song.

And as night grew dark, in her heart’s warmest part

She held her son close as she fell asleep.”

Snuggled together on a canopy bed,

A girl and grandmother share moments too few.

With eyes wide with wonder, she chirps in her ear

“Tell me a story,” and she pulls her near.

Once a young woman, who was hardly more than a girl herself

Had a fine son, who was handsome and strong.

He learned and he played and he brought the world happiness

And then, all too soon, had a child of his own.

And though miles are between us, our love holds us close

And your life will flow over with laughter and song.

And as each night grows dark, in my heart’s warmest part,

I hold to you tight as I fall asleep.”

Quiet the vigil around the old bed,

With family around her, an old woman sleeps.

With eyes wet and weary, her son calls them near

Recounting a story they all long to hear:

“Once a young woman, who was hardly more than a girl herself

started a family that grew large and strong

She played and she laughed and she brought the world happiness

She taught them to love, and to care for their own

And though miles were between them, their love held them close

And their lives flowed over with laughter and song

And as this night grows dark, in each heart’s warmest part

We now hold you close as you fall asleep.

And the story goes on, and circles all along

and our lives ring forth with laughter and song

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