~The poet uses the butterfly net of language to catch fleeting images in mid-flight~

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Penny for Your Thoughts

Mommy, what would happen
If I went to sleep and never woke up?
Would the stars still shine?
Would the sun come up?
Would my brothers and sisters still want to fight?
Would the mailman run from the dog that bites?
Mommy, what would happen
If I went to sleep and never woke up?
Would they still have school
Or would they board her up?
And what would the janitor do if I wasn’t around?
Would he still sweep the halls
And pick up trash from the ground?
And Mommy, if I slept too long,
Where would I go?
Would I fly off like the birds
Or would I just lie there like snow?
What would really happen
If I went to sleep and never woke up?
Remember when Uncle Nick fell down
And he never got up?
And the ambulance came and took him away?
He’s never been back
But I still have so many things to say.
He used to take me on walks.
And we’d find quarters on the ground.
And then he’d buy me ice cream.
I’m really sad that he’s not around.
Mommy, what would happen
If I went to sleep and never woke up?
Would I ride off to heaven on horses that gallop?
And when I got there,
What would I find?
Lots of old people, some mean and some kind?
I’m asking you, Mom,
‘Cause I really don’t know.
But most of all,
I don’t want you to go.
Mom, do you think that I’m worrying too much?
It’s just that when I’m alone at night,
I’m missing your touch.
I don’t think I ever want to grow up.
Mommy, what would happen
If I went to sleep and never woke up?


  1. Love the way you speak with a child's voice. The reader can hear the questioning see the furrowing of the brow and even a tear cresting the eyelid

    sweet my friend
    thanks for sharing with One Shot


  2. Thanks Coyote. Interesting poem. Some feelings through the expression on the child within. Nice. I would like to know...are you expressing your own older memories...or recent recall/feelings, or neither? Thanks, A.

  3. a child's heart. A secret a child will keep. Sudden hugs and kisses to assure mum and dad he/she is here today

  4. Tiger, you touched my heart with this one. I love it, so innocent, quizzical, and full of the imagination of childhood.

  5. very well done Tiger. childs voice and worldview.

  6. whew...children ask some pretty profound questions and you captured it well...death is such a mystery...i wonder what it will be...

  7. Good question. Unfortunately, there's only one way to find out. I really like the line "Or would I just lie there like snow?" It implies the essence of death; cold, white, and unmoving.

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  9. Oh, it's fantastic! It's rangey and free-falling yet well constructed, and the voice so plaintive...

    ...Mommy, what would happen
    If I went to sleep and never woke up?
    Would the stars still shine?
    Would the sun come up?...

    So simple and yet, the idea is wretched! I shall kiss my daughter and never let her go!

    Very wonderful indeed.

  10. Beautiful...I always believed that that twinkling stars would always be there for me...still do.

  11. i can see and feel the child behind your words..wide eyed, vulnerable, honest - great write tiger - gentle as a lamb if i may say so

  12. oh...as a parent that really moved me...lovely poem

  13. Heartfelt piece!

    Children often amuse us with their curiosity- but more often than not, their questions are more than what we would want to be reminded about..

    Children are blessed that they can talk, as adults, we lose voice- somethings are best kept if not talked about :)

    A very fine piece

    Hugs xxx

  14. you capture truly both the eagerness and innocence of a child and his questions...a gentle piece filled with deeper undertones. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  15. As good as it gets. Love this Tiger. Felt emotion and childhood fears. Bravo. Keep sharing.

  16. Hi Tiger

    Oh, you put the child in you out in the open.. loved your last lines so much...

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    At Twitter @VerseEveryDay

  17. Greetings!

    Thanks for the lovely contribution to potluck on week 25,

    week 26 is open NOW, we treasury your poetry

    and welcome you in in your personal convenience…old poems are welcome!


  18. This is beautiful! The way you have captured a child's curiosity well asking very hard questions. The deep philosophical undertone is outstanding!

  19. moving words.

    vivid imagery,

  20. lovely coyote.. children can often define common logic better than adults and make them step back to observe their doings.. here's my potluck.. http://fiveloaf.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/cheesecake/