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Final Lullaby

Final Lullaby
by Michael R. Burch

for my mother, Christine Ena Burch

Sleep peacefully—for now your suffering's over.

Sleep peacefully—immune to all distress,
like pebbles unaware of raging waves.

Sleep peacefully—like fields of fragrant clover
unmoved by any motion of the wind.

Sleep peacefully—like clouds untouched by earthquakes.

Sleep peacefully—like stars that never blink
and have no thoughts at all, nor need to think.

Sleep peacefully—in your eternal vault,
immaculate, past perfect, without fault.


I wrote this lullaby for my mother after she died with covid a few days before Christmas. If you think this lullaby might be of comfort to someone you know, please feel free to share it for noncommercial purposes, but if you cut and paste it, please be sure my name stays attached as the author.

Elegy for a little girl, lost
by Michael R. Burch

for my mother, Christine Ena Burch

... qui laetificat juventutem meam...
She was the joy of my youth,
and now she is gone.
... requiescat in pace...
May she rest in peace.
... amen...

I was touched by this Latin prayer, which I discovered in a novel I read as a teenager, around age 16 or 17, and chose to incorporate into a poem. From what I now understand, "*ad deum qui laetificat juventutem meam*" means "to the God who gives joy to my youth, " but I am sticking with my original interpretation: a lament for a little girl at her funeral. The phrase can be traced back to Saint Jerome's translation of Psalm 42 in the Vulgate Latin Bible (circa 385 AD) .

by Michael R. Burch

for my mother, Christine Ena Burch

Mother, I love you!
Mother, delightful,
articulate, insightful!

Angels in training,
watching, would hover,
learning to love
from the Master: a Mother.

You learned all there was
for this planet to teach,
then extended your wings
to Love's ultimate reach...

And now you have soared
beyond eagles and condors
into distant elevations
only Phoenixes can conquer.


by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

Cherubic laugh; sly, impish grin;
Angelic face; wild chimp within.
It does not matter; sleep awhile
As soft mirth tickles forth a smile.
Gray moths will hum a lullaby
Of feathery wings, then you and I
Will wake together, by and by.


Life's not long; those days are best
Spent snuggled to a loving breast.
The earth will wait; a sun-filled sky
Will bronze lean muscle, by and by.
Soon you will sing, and I will sigh,
But sleep here, now, for you and I
Know nothing but this lullaby.

Sappho's Lullaby
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

Hushed yet melodic, the hills and the valleys
sleep unaware of the nightingale's call
while the dew-laden lilies lie
this is their night, the first night of fall.

Son, tonight, a woman awaits you;
she is more vibrant, more lovely than spring.
She'll meet you in moonlight,
soft and warm,
all alone...
then you'll know why the nightingale sings.

Just yesterday the stars were afire;
then how desire flashed through my veins!
But now I am older;
night has come,
I'm alone...
for you I will sing as the nightingale sings.

Oh, let me sing you a lullaby
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy (written from his mother's perspective)

Oh, let me sing you a lullaby
of a love that shall come to you by and by.

Oh, let me sing you a lullaby
of a love that shall come to you by and by.

Oh, my dear son, how you're growing up!
You're taller than me, now I'm looking up!
You're a long tall drink and I'm half a cup!
And so let me sing you this lullaby.

Oh, my sweet son, as I watch you grow,
there are so many things that I want you to know.
Most importantly this: that I love you so.
And so let me sing you this lullaby.

Soon a tender bud will thrust forth and grow
after the winter's long virgin snow;
and because there are things that you have to know...
Oh, let me sing you this lullaby.

Soon, in a green garden a new rose will bloom
and fill all the world with its wild perfume.
And though it's hard for me, I must give it room.
And so let me sing you this lullaby.

Mother's Smile
by Michael R. Burch

for my mother, Christine Ena Burch, and my wife, Elizabeth Harris Burch

There never was a fonder smile
than mother's smile, no softer touch
than mother's touch. So sleep awhile
and know she loves you more than "much."

So more than "much, " much more than "all."
Though tender words, these do not speak
of love at all, nor how we fall
and mother's there, nor how we reach
from nightmares in the ticking night
and she is there to hold us tight.

There never was a stronger back
than father's back, that held our weight
and lifted us, when we were small,
and bore us till we reached the gate,
then held our hands that first bright mile
till we could run, and did, and flew.
But, oh, a mother's tender smile
will leap and follow after you!

The Tapestry of Leaves
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

Leaves unfold
as life is sold,
or bartered, for a moment in the sun.

The interchange
of lives is strange:
what reason—life—when death leaves all undone?

O, earthly son,
when rest is won
and wrested from this ground, then through my clay's

soft mortal soot
thrust forth your root
until your leaves embrace the sun's bright rays.

Keywords/Tags: lullaby, lullabies, cradle song, heart song, lyric, lyrics, lyrical, elegy, eulogy, epitaph, death, dirge, wake, funeral, mourn, mourning, mum, mom, mother, mother and child
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Topic(s) of this poem: heart song,lyric,lyrics,lyrical,elegy,eulogy,epitaph,death,dirge,wake up call,funeral,mom,mother,mother and child,mourn,mourning

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4/16/2021 3:34:18 AM #