Illustrated by: Frane Lessac
Published by: HarperCollins, 1991
Awards: Children's Choice Award (IRA/CBC), 1991.
Copyright © Marilyn Singer 1991

Nine O’Clock Lullaby


9 p.m. in Brooklyn, New York

The vroom and shush of traffic

outside the bedroom window

while Mama turns the pages

of a sleeptime tale.

9 p.m. in Brooklyn, New York, is…


10 p.m. in Puerto Rico

Sweet rice, fruit ice, coconut candy.

Papa playing congas, Tio his guitar.

Swaying lanterns in the branches,

dancing people on the grass.

Bedtime is forgotten on a special party night.

10 p.m. in Puerto Rico is…


Midnight on the mid-Atlantic

Nothing blacker than the water,

nothing wider than the sky.

Pitch and toss, pitch and toss.

The Big Dipper might just ladle

a drink out of the sea.

Midnight on the mid-Atlantic is…


2 a.m. in England

Bread in the pantry at nighttime

tastes better than cream cakes at tea.

2 a.m. in England is…