Today's children, the ones who ran shouting in the sun,
Are safely home now,
In warm houses, behind drawn curtains.
Cream of tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwich,
A waiting bath, fluffy towels,
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Yesterday's children wait for twilight,
Slipping from the shadows, they lay pale fingers on the swings.
Noiseless feet ascend the ladder
and, corkscrewing down the slide, the little wraiths whisper their delight
In thin high voices.
Behind the curtains, nervous parents lock the doors, check the windows,
And turn up the volume on the television.