One Last Time

One Last Time



One last time


She leans in, low and long,

Arms stretching over the crib,

Kissing them softly to sleep

As she has done since they were born,


As she shall do until they turn

One last time, and fade

And then finally

Disappear –


Just as everything

She has ever nursed and ever known

Has done –

That is her curse,

And this is ours.


The house is full and the town far off

And it won’t be long till those things come

That do not fear her absence,

Creeping, cold and slow, towards us.


And so we must march, now,

The long miles round and round and over and down,

And climb and march and search some more

For somewhere quiet

To finally fall.


But before we do,

Just watch her now

One last time,

Spreading her warmth gloriously

Over her nodding brood,


Fueling our hearts for the road ahead –

For the night is coming,

And it will be long and it will be dark,

And we should not expect to see her again.



© Compo