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
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.