Down on South Street; my brother, my sister, and I, lived our early lives in a kind of “bicameral” existence; splitting our time between our house and Gramp’s house. These houses were next door to each other; separated by a distance of only about 30 to 40 feet. Some days, we’d wake up in one house and eat breakfast in the other, or get partially dressed in one and finish dressing in the other. One house had a washing machine and the other had a dryer. At times they were even physically connected; joined by an umbilical cord of rubber and wire which fed electrical life from one to the other. It was a perfectly symbiotic existence; the life lived between these two homes.
However, there was one thing that both homes possessed in equal proportions. They both possessed twin tin roofs which when rained upon, created a rhythmic spell of somnolence that rivaled the one cast upon old Rip Van Winkle himself.
In this brief interlude between the “tales of the Comet,” I introduce to you:
Has God ever played you a lullaby?
Well if you grew up sleeping under a tin roof like I.
Every time it rained, God played a lullaby;
A quiet, gentle song to drown out our worries;
To smooth out all of the wrinkles and furrows
That have etched themselves into our faces and lives.
It’s a soothing refrain that quiets, in our minds, the troubled cries;
A hush-a-bye with the diacopic lyrics of the rain as it dives;
Meeting the tin; a chorus of drips that gently slide
To the ground below. Such is God’s Lullaby.
To some, the rain can be a bane,
That brings memories to lovers
Of loves lost and to others,
It heralds the harbinger of pain.
But these, perhaps have never heard the rain,
That drums hypnotic rhythms into slumbering brains.
One such star-crossed lover sang a song which decrees;
“I can’t stand the rain against my window; bringing back sweet memories.”
It seems that in the song that she’d lost her beau.
And the only sound in the world that she could not swallow
Was the sound of the rain against her window.
Even the lullabies of an oldie like “Rock-a-bye-Baby”
Fall far short of the Master’s melody.
Why, even the old sandman has no such magic that matches
The magic that the Master’s lullaby masters.
In fact, the tale of the poor baby in the “treetop”
Has planted the seeds of nightmares into many a tot.
The poor little child; all alone up in the tree’s frightening height;
In a cradle held precariously high by one limb so slight.
The tree swaying back and forth in the gale
Does horrify rather than tranquilly quell.
CRACK! The limb breaks and the poor child, cradle and all
Comes tumbling, crashing down through the limbs of the tree they both fall;
Smashing into the ground below. What self-respecting child or adult even,
Could sleep with that vision dancing horrifically in dreams?
Not I! Give me the rain on a tin roof; the old tried and proven.
Give me the rain; a lullaby from Heaven.
-Ronald W. Brown (2014)
©Ronald W. Brown, (2014-2016). All Rights Reserved.