When the Dreamers left.   by Autumn Elyse Fox

"But grammy!"



The fire crackled. I could see the coals now.



"Don't you grammy me, boy! We said you could have one last story, and that was it! Besides his throat and head must be tired after such one as that." She glanced over at my father, "Isn't that right."



"Oh, I guess it is then!" His laughter echoed back from deeper within the cave.



"Dad, there is time for one more story. One a little less joyous. About the Dreamers." I looked at my mother, who now appeared suddenly more serious, less playful. "Mayhaps they might not beggar more stories when they should be getting sleep."



I looked back to my father, his eyes were wide. After a moment he nodded.



"Hmph. Aren't you yet sick of it?"



"I feel it is time, childhood ends for everyone once." My children stared questioningly at all of us older folk.



My husband nodded his own approval.



Father nodded again, slower than before. The water skin was passed to him. He cleared his throat.



Then he began.



"The Earth was young when the Dreamers left

Upon ships spun of silk and light.

Ages have passed by in sorrow,

Searching for the Dreamers who left.



"The Earth was young when the Dreamers left.

Their children played with toys unseen.

We who stayed knew not their craft,

And now it is forever with the Dreamers who left.



"The Earth was young when the Dreamers left

The stars that guided them, light eternal.

For them alone, now hidded beyond blighted skies

Unreacable but for the Dreamers who left.



"They left us here.

And we stay.

She is old, now.

And We cry.

She has wrinkles beneath her eyes, now.

And we fear.

She dreams of her other children, now.

And we are jealous.

She dreams for the Dreamers, now.

And we cannot.

She is old, now.



"The Earth was young when the Dreamers left,

Their dreams left with them too,

And when they passed beyond night's starry veil

Our dreams unreached without the Dreamers who left.



"They stole away with their toys.

Her toys.

Our toys.



"The Earth was young when the Dreamers left

But sorrow remained and birthed

Newfound hatreds and ugliness

Why did they not follow the Dreamers who left?



"They left us here.

There is no more time.

She is old, now.

They left on ships spun of silk and light.

She has wrinkles beneath her eyes, now.

Their children played with toys unseen.

She has dreams of her other children, now.

They were guided by stars, light eternal.

She longs for the Dreamers, now.

They left us here.

There is no more time.

She is old, now.



"The Earth was young when the Dreamers left

Did hopes of peace abandon us too?

Adrift in the sea of stars we spin

But will we find the Dreamers who left?



"The Earth was young.

She is old, now.

They left on ships of silk and light.

We cannot dream.



"The Earth was young when the Dreamers left

Earth she cries molten tears of pain

And shudders violently for all her children

We who stayed and the Dreamers who left.



"We are old, now.

We long to dream

As the Dreamers dreamed.

We are old, now.

Too old to dream

As the Dreamers dreamed.



"The Earth was young when the Dreamers left.

Without them we drift meaninglessly

As hollow as we have made her.

The Dreamers who left, the Dreamers who left.



"She is old, now.

We are old, now.

Too old to dream.



"The Earth was young when the Dreamers left.

Upon ships spun of silk and light.

Ages have passed by in sorrow,

Searching for the Dreamers who left.



"She is old, now.

They will not return for her.

She cries fiery tears.



"The Earth was young when the Dreamers left.

She is old, now.

We are too.

The Dreamers who left will not return."



The room was silent. Coals glowed orange. From deep in the cave came the dripping of water.



After I had tucked my sons and daughters safely away I returned to the coals and sat with my parents and my husband. My love shivered despite the warmth. So did I.