Time for Bed

Small voices carry through
the thick and languid air of evening.
The scent of honeysuckle is rising 
yet still they play.

Calling to each other, chattering
like chickadees, they chase
and flit from tree to gentle tree.
I hear them,
counting now. 
10, 9, 8, 7, 6 ….
An older voice.

Night draws on.
It is past suppertime, but
time yawns and stretches, 
reluctant to relinquish the day.

Demands of bus and homework 
pushed aside.
These are the long days of 
bug bites rubbed raw
and ice-cream in the afternoon, 
just because.

There’s crying now, murmurings of comfort 
and chastisement.
Wounds are soothed and tears are wiped, 
it’s time to go to bed.