Editor’s note: Parenthood leads to a million wishes, and this poem addresses one of the biggest wishes parents ever make with charm and honesty. Enjoy!
She went to the grand wizard Babe at her bosom, herself sunken and sallow of face "Just one simple spell" she asked And wanted no more, truly with all of her heart Against snickers swirling the chamber, he took pity Ceding her solicitation "Magic will be wasted on her,” the whispers and shouts said But the wizard scoffed "How could one low as she threaten me? Or any of you?" And thereby silenced the chatter Grateful she left, child at breast But crying and fussing no more. She knew it not yet, but one day they'd regret Giving her this small slice of magic. From all around, the mothers they came Stumbling one over another Not in a rush, simply too tired to see one in front of t'other For the spell that she asked Truly was small, though by no means simple All she had wished was for quiet and calm from the babe in her arm and the power to speak it to be So the mothers all asked For one night of peace And kindly she always would grant it The mothers came to her from all 'cross the land Til the wizard, less grand Found his magic unfurled A new most powerful in the world The witch whose only spell Was to help a mother sleep.
Jason P. Burnham is an infectious diseases physician and clinical researcher. He loves many things, among them sci-fi, his wife, sons, and dog, metal music, Rancho Gordo beans, and equality (not necessarily in that order). Image from Hill’s Manual of Social and Business Forms, by Thos. E. Hill, 1886