How many miles to Babylon? the children chant.
Three score and ten, comes the reply.
Can I get there by candle light?
Yes, and back again. And back again.
All there is to do in the game is laugh and run
and hold on tight – as the line weaves
and circles back and, one by one,
thread the needle, one by one.
How many miles to Babylon? Insurmountable
the distance, millenniums away and back again
yet, the game has wafted down as the children chant,
their queries if not replies resonating
in quickly-beating, childish hearts; run, laugh
and hold on tight. Lord, we want to know –
how far and how we might arrive
at our destination and return home again.
All there is to do is to laugh and run, hold on tight.
Thread the needle, o child; thread the needle.
O child of God, play the game, hold on tight,
though the journey seems uncharted and endless.