The touch is firm upon the flesh
of death; the wrap of slow embrace.
A drawing closer till the breath
in silent lifting rises still
and yearns to break through barren lips;
a final freeing from the Self
of Soul released and barely held.
And yet the moments follow on
in watchful waiting, days deep drawn,
of endless dying made as one;
a threading of the final hours,
eternity is sown within,
the stitches silken, holding close
the memories and fading thoughts.
Life lingers on beyond the call
in reaching for the final sum,
accounting of the drifting years
and dreadful days which she has known
and which will litter long the nights,
sweet-cling to dreams created yet,
within the garment of the soul,
a last, black brightness
holding fast within the milk-white,
reflecting back the dark embrace.
And death draws closer,
girds her loins, enfolds the body,
strokes the mind, lays bare the bones
in crepe-loose skin,
disturbs the final drape of life.
The moment come, the shades are drawn,
the messenger with bright-spread wings
brings dreams of angels; whispered words
and glowing golden through the mist
draws close to give the celestial kiss.
The breath of death is scarcely felt
upon the cold, grey shrink of cheek,
yet life in final yielding stirs
and deep within is heard the call:
breath-held the moment beckons still
and then relents … surrenders all.