Prayer Before Bed (a pantoum)

sleeping woman in bed of leaves stone

While I settle to the ground,
close my eyes and try to breathe,
while the forest fills with sound–
silence whispers, underneath.

I close my eyes, struggle to breathe.
I cannot face the stars or moon.
Silence taunts me underneath.
I turn to face the earth, here strewn

with broken shards of stars and moon.
I lie beside them, near to where
the pieces of my heart, are strewn.
In time my tears become a prayer.

I lie here, lonely, near to where
discarded stars and leaves have blown.
Tears oft repeated, become a prayer:
Let me just lie here, turn to stone.

Discarded stars and leaves have blown,
and gathered, rest around this tree.
Let me just lie here, turn to stone,
release my pain and be set free.

Come gather near, around this tree,
and see the work that grief has done.
Woman of stone, I’ve been set free.
Washed by the rain, warmed by the sun.

For today’s prompt, write a settled poem. Settled can be a good, relaxing thing; settled can be an accepting something that wasn’t your first choice thing; settled can be coming to a stop; settled can be pioneers in a strange land; and so on. With only three days left, don’t settle for less than your best.

The pantoum is a poetic form originating in Malay where poets write quatrains (4-line stanzas) with an abab rhyme scheme and repeat lines 2 and 4 in the previous stanza as lines 1 and 3 in the next stanza. Poets differ on how to treat the final quatrain: Some poets repeat lines 1 and 3 of the original quatrain as lines 2 and 4 in the final quatrain; other poets invert lines 1 and 3 so that the beginning line of the poem is also the final line of the poem.