Lullabies at The Consul, poem by Laila Sumpton

This is a response piece by a ‘roaming’ resident at Who Are We? project.

Lullabies at The Consul 

Vem kan segla förutan vind?
Vem kan ro utan åror?
Vem kan skiljas från vännen sin
Utan att fälla tårar?

Has anyone ever seen the consul?
As impossible as rowing without oars
or sailing without wind.
I ask for your help
and all you give me is papers-
what is your name?
What is your name?
My occupation is waiting.

I sing as I wait for the consul to wake,
I sing to send my baby to sleep
both are silent, and I am lost-
only holding my song
and a suitcase of papers
answered wrong.
The sea the only cradle I can rock
tide by tide on the shore
until I see the shade of you-
a far sail heading where I cannot go.

The sea is dark with mother’s tears
the waves move with our song-
praying you reach slumberland,
praying your father comes home.
Sleep my young one, sleep,
sleep on the red bed
father and mother will come.
Chicken, don’t cry- the baby may wake.
Sun, little sun come to see me
because I’m cold.

Soon the morn will break again
over hill and lea,
and when you will wake again,
you’ll dance on Daddy’s knee.