Sunday 16 October 2022

Count to Five

by Nick Gisburne

I have a little story, little man,
To send you into silence, into sleep.
You know me, know exactly what I am,
A killer, come to help you count the sheep.
Your father was the first, but he was dead
Before you cried, before you took a breath.
The second of the brood your mother bred,
Your brother, as an infant, danced with death.
A sister, such a pretty peach, the third.
Remember how you shared so many things.
And later, how they told you, how you heard:
An envelope. Inside, your mother’s rings.
    Four sleepers, leaving you, alone, alive,
    But now I come again, to count to five.