What joy can fill the heart,
Even while sorrow breaks it?
Entering, I gather her in:
Small and innocent, onto my lap.
Her round eyes have never known fear,
Bright as a flower and as innocent.
Her small hands try to reach around me,
But she cannot.
Not yet. She has to grow.
He said I was meant to be whole,
And that wholeness surrounds me;
I must find a way to soak it into my heart.
To knit, and to heal and to close;
To fulfill my last service to him.
My heart: it tries to reach that place,
That wholeness he bequeathed to me.
But it cannot.
The firelight plays on her baby curls.
My dear wife brings hot tea to me,
A cup of milk for the little one,
Offers comfort with a wordless look.
There is so much here to be thankful for.
A fine, full life ahead for the living.
Rose stoops and gathers up the child,
Fallen asleep in my arms.
Leaving them feeling lighter, colder,
Empty of warmth accustomed.
I suddenly find I have to lower my head
To hide my tears.
"Are you all right?"
"I'm... only kind of tired.
I think I'll just sit here by the fire awhile."
The flames are blurring on the hearth.
I do not deny the truth in what he said:
I was meant to be whole.
Just not... quite