Funeral for a Famine Child

June 26, 2009
By Jessica Sternbach BRONZE, Calabasas, California
Jessica Sternbach BRONZE, Calabasas, California
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

A Funeral for a Famine Child
Quaking cold, not passed to you
While walking in the wind’s chill, and dove’s coo
My child, little child, little life
Crueler your fate by sanguinary knife
Become of our hills, pure brown
Of our grain, what can be found,
Dust upon the mill house reel.

Our bread my darling, not passed to you
It would if it be had, know that to be true
Because my lamb, heat knows no bounds
Weak as I am, you are weaker still, grounded—
Yes, you grounded further
For I still stand, grieving mother

Alone I’m left, you just a babe,
Alone, your Father gone after another, stray
Alone I’m left to prove I can care
Alone, if I could ever fair.

The frost came, fast to you
With no protection, but cloth and bone.
My child succumb, my lamp did flicker
So cold yet ache with fever
No Doctor could come to call
The wind blew heavy for the fall
As if Winter, tyranic for his throne,
Let the leaves change, but left ground ungrown.

That fever my dove, gripped you
In its wake called you to pacific lieu
With breaking beads upon your brow
Death’s knocking then— now—
For story’s sake let us spare your passing,
But you did, through golden casing
All I know is you left me
Behind, you see
Your soul did, that very night, depart
The Fall’s winter wind cleaving at my heart

The pain my child, passed by you
Lying in your shakedown hollow
No soul left to steal or borrow
Me outside in barren bed,
Once had held my garden spread
There I stand in shovel deep
Loose in toneless soil and grief
I wail for the grave I’m digging
For tiny coffin, God unwilling
The splinter’s stings do numb the pain
Of loosing you, though through the pane
Your silhouette, so placid. I wish—

The cold my child, holds to you
Your skin alabaster, your lips crimson blue
Your hair silver, in the light
In death I’ve seen so many colors
And many other terrible wonders
Music when you left this earth
I felt symphony break in its birth
To staggering pain
To sorrow beyond—all prevailing perception.

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