For a Sleepless Child


If your room is ever too dark,
small one, look out through your window
up at the moon, that little bulb
left on for you in the sky’s black wall.
It will still be there come morning,
burning in a bright room of blue.

And if your room, restless one,
is much too still, listen to the clatter
of the freight, rattling past trestles
on the cool night breeze. Then follow
the moon to the side of the tracks,
where the train is a long, slow dream

you can jump on. An open car
is waiting for you — one step up —
you’re on! Now watch the dark towns, the lights
deep in the porches, and lie down
in the soft straw, and sleep till morning,
when the train chugs into station,

noisy with birds and wires overhead.

~ Peter Schmitt

Late-Moon-Train-by (2)






Painting: Late Moon Train by Steve Coffey

9 thoughts on “For a Sleepless Child

  1. What a comforting bit of verse. Funny thing, I just came from Handmade by Amalia and she had a little poem about a little one longing to be home in his own bed. You both share a similar theme today.

    Wishing you a beautiful day, Gretchen.
    Brenda xox


  2. That’s sweet! I have to say that one of the wonderful things (to me) about summer is open windows at night, and the sound of cars on a nearby road in the quiet. Don’t know why I like it.


  3. I loved this so much when I read it when you posted it, then forgot to come back on my laptop and comment. It would be a wonderful bedtime story book. I can envision the pictures illustrating it. We hear faint noise from a freight train around midnight and it’s a lovely sound.


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