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.