Whisper

Whisper… Don’t whisper?

I can hear them. The little birds. They sing nice. I like it when they sing.

Sometimes I think  of the sun, and the grass in the field. I like to put my fingers in the dirt.

I like to feel the cold earth in my hand, and the warm sun on my face, and the strong wind on my back.

Whisper… Don’t whisper?

It’s not like I have never thought of it, you know? It’s not like I don’t know what i’m saying.

But it’s all a little frightening, really. Eyes closing. Going to sleep. Sleeping, I mean. I’m a little scared of it, you know?

I think everyone is. Where do you go? Will you ever wake up? If you do, where will you be? When you wake… If you wake.

Whisper… Don’t whisper?

It’s reasonable, I guess. When I put my hands in the earth, they get dirty. When I let the sun on my face, I get burned. The wind chafes my skin. I know that. Everybody knows that.

But sleep? Who knows about sleep, anyway? Why should I be afraid to sleep? It’s not like anyone knows – for certain, I mean. People guess, I guess.

Whisper…

I should miss the sun, I think. I know it burns me. But I don’t know that I mind. It’s warm and it is bright. The earth is cool and healing. The wind fills me with life.

And yet I am tired, you know? The birds sing. The little birds. I can hear them and I smile. Have you ever listened to the birds and wondered what it is they say? What it is they mean? I do.

Whisper…

I’m feeling heavy. The sky is so heavy, and I don’t know how long I can hold it up. The grass is so soft, and it is asking me to lay down. I’ve been standing so long, listening so long to the birds. The cool earth. Could it heal me from this burning sun? Could the wind get along without me? Holding up that great big sky all by itself? I hope so. The birds need a place to sing. I need to sleep. I hope I wake up. I wonder where I shall?

~j.d.schofield

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