Desert Children

They raise up their walls around me

Thick and high and silent

A monastery so remote,

So removed from the world.

 

The Desert Children’s rule is strict.

The day is long and hard

There is nothing here not simple,

Nothing here that’s easy.

 

The day begins before the sun,

Ends after its setting.

Every minute in between is

A rough and holy thing.

 

They teach things I do not know

How to need, how to ask

How to accept, how to enjoy

How to receive a gift.

 

It is a long and lonely way

That some nights I can’t walk

So while the Desert Children sleep

I slip over the wall,

 

A stranger to the world outside,

Speak strangely of strange things

Speaking nursery rhymes to power.

Occupied with smallness.

 

But long before the sun comes up

I’m longing to return

To seek their sacred littleness,

The littleness I’d learn.

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