Poem for Kids

Lying In Bed Waiting To Fall Asleep

I'm retired and live in southern Pennsylvania, USA, midway between the Amish farms of Lancaster County and the Gettysburg battlefield. When I was teaching in middle school, I noticed that most poems in the textbooks were free verse. As a boy I had enjoyed the cadenced rhymes of Poe, Kipling, Whittier, etc., so I began to write rhymed, metered poems for my students. This is one of them. Its stanzas have an 8-6-8-6 syllable pattern and iambic meter.

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The poem clearly depicts a child's thoughts at night. Regular rhythm and rhyme reflect the rhythm of sounds of nature as well as the other rhythmical sounds coming from the surrounding.

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A Child's Goodnight

Richard Thomas © more by Richard Thomas

Published by Family Friend Poems October 2018

At night the sun lies down for sleep
And crickets sing a tune.
The bullfrogs croak and creatures creep
Beneath the watching moon.

The masked raccoons and possums prowl
Through meadows moist with dew.
The fireflies flash, coyotes howl,
And owls keep asking, "Who?"

At night our school is still and dark
And evening stars arrive.
And marble statues in the park
Appear to come alive.

Our nation's flag's been taken down
And city streets are bare.
Awakened bats soar over town
As nightmares children scare.

At night I hear my father snore
And baby brother cry
As shadows slide across the floor
And trucks go rumbling by.

I hear a siren's urgent squeal
While I lie safe in bed.
My hamster racing on its wheel
And raindrops overhead.

At night I hear the floorboards creak
And neighbor's car meow.
I feel my pillow press my cheek
And night air cool my brow.

I think about the recent past
And plan the coming day
Until I fall asleep at last
And dream the night away.

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ABOUT THE POET:

After discharge from the army, I became a high school business teacher and coached several sports in a small town in Southern Pennsylvania. Years later I switched to teaching in the middle school and discovered that almost all of the poems in the reading textbooks were free verse. As a boy, I'd been fascinated by the rhymes and rhythmic...

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Kumari Weerasooriya by Kumari Weerasooriya
  • 3 years ago

The poem clearly depicts a child's thoughts at night. Regular rhythm and rhyme reflect the rhythm of sounds of nature as well as the other rhythmical sounds coming from the surrounding.

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