Poetry

By Susan H. Aylworth


Benediction for David’s Father

In parlored dark
we said a last goodnight
to clay-cold flesh
encased in temple white
and green,
Good-morrow to a friend
we all had cherished
to the end
of life.
Eyes like blackened jewels
in isinglass-thin,
wrinkle-layered skin
betrayed no rising miracle,
no modern Lazarus
to rob the grave
and save us
from our loss.
We knew the Christ,
believed the resurrection,
saw in David’s final supplication
hope for future union
in a kingdom-heaven
endless in its light and life
and truth.
Still,
faith in things not seen
would not cleanse from our hearts
the sting of pain,
make from age, youth,
or, from once-used dust,
make life again.

The Call

Yesterday, or so it seems,
I heard my mother call,
“Come home now, dear.”
And pleading, childlike,
I begged for time to finish playing,
For I had just begun.
“Please, not yet!”
She understood and, smiling,
Granted one more hour.
Seasons passed; my life was full
Of love and sweet content.
Suddenly, “Come home,” I heard,
And pleading, childlike,
I prayed for time to finish living,
For I had just begun.
“Please, not yet!”
He heard and answered
But did not say how long.
Remembering, I sometimes fear
That as todays are spent,
My borrowed hours
Are worldly, wasted,
For I may hear, perhaps tomorrow,
“Come home, just as you are.”
Ready? Worthy?
Too well I know—
No time to finish then.