Elegy: All My Children Poem by Michael Burch

Elegy: All My Children

All My Children
by Michael R. Burch

It is May now, gentle May,
and the sun shines pleasantly
upon the blousy flowers
of this backyard cemet'ry,
upon my children as they sleep.

Oh, there is Hank in the daisies now,
with a mound of earth for a pillow;
his face as hard as his monument,
but his voice as soft as the wind through the willows.

And there is Meg beside the spring
that sings her endless sleep.
Though it's often said of stiller waters,
sometimes quicksilver streams run deep.

And there is Frankie, little Frankie,
tucked in safe at last,
a child who weakened and died too soon,
but whose heart was always steadfast.

And there is Mary by the bushes
where she hid so well,
her face as dark as their berries,
yet her eyes far darker still.

And Andy... there is Andy,
sleeping in the clover,
a child who never saw the sun
so soon his life was over.

And Em'ly, oh my Em'ly...
the prettiest of all...
now she's put aside her dreams
of lovers dark and tall
for dreams dreamed not at all.

It is May now, merry May
and the sun shines pleasantly
upon the green gardens,
on the graves of all my children...

But they never did depart;
they still live within my heart.

This is a poem I had forgotten for nearly 50 years until another poet mentioned "We Are Seven" by William Wordsworth. As I read Wordsworth's poem about a little girl who refused to admit that some of her siblings were missing, I remembered a poem I had written as a teenager about a mother who clung as tenaciously to the memory of her children. The line "It is May now, gentle May" popped into my head and helped me locate the poem in my archives. I believe I wrote this poem around age 15-16, or thereabouts. It is admittedly a sentimental poem, but then human beings are sentimental creatures.

Keywords/Tags: Epitaph, Elegy, Eulogy, Child, Childhood, Children, Siblings, Brothers, Sisters, Sons, Daughters, Mother, Motherhood, Mother's Love, Grave, Graves, Graveyard, Cemetery, Death, Loss, Memory, Memories

Thursday, February 13, 2020
Topic(s) of this poem: cemetery,child,childhood,daughter,epitaph,eulogy,grave,mother and child ,mother daughter,son
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