Sleep, my damselfly, wings pressed in mute prayer.
Cease, my whirligig, spinning pond-skin to air.
Let all water striders take rest from their stride;
frogs peeping, be secret, beneath lily leaves hide
from the full moon’s far-rippled, long light-bright slide.
Sleep, pleep, pleep.
As stars flash the flanks of the rainbow trout,
littlest beavers, shake your wet fur out.
Let the loon dive for pleasure and the heron for show
as the owl watches silent for small prey below;
may voles burrow deep in the frail cloud’s shadow.
Sleep, deep, deep.
Sleep, salamander, breath-bright skin in moist earth.
Rest, flitting robin, in the nest of your birth.
As the moon scatters dreams across bulrush and reed
and warm earth drags down the snagged dandelion seed,
pond water laps gently, and as gently recedes:
sleep, sleep, sleep.
—Jane Ledwell, Return of the Wild Goose: A fierce remembrance of P.E.I. activist, Katherine Hughes, Island Studies Press, 2019.
Deirdre Kessler selects a poem a month by an Island poet for The Buzz.