Edgar Albert Guest
Since Jessie Died - Poem by Edgar Albert Guest
We understand a lot of things we never did before,
And it seems that to each other Ma and I are meaning more.
I don't know how to say it, but since little Jessie died
We have learned that to be happy we must travel side by side.
You can share your joys and pleasures, but you never come to know
The depth there is in loving, till you've got a common woe.
We're past the hurt of fretting—we can talk about it now:
She slipped away so gently and the fever left her brow
So softly that we didn't know we'd lost her, but, instead,
We thought her only sleeping as we watched beside her bed.
Then the doctor, I remember, raised his head, as if to say
What his eyes had told already, and Ma fainted dead away.
Up to then I thought that money was the thing I ought to get;
And I fancied, once I had it, I should never have to fret.
But I saw that I had wasted precious hours in seeking wealth;
I had made a tidy fortune, but I couldn't buy her health.
And I saw this truth much clearer than I'd ever seen before:
That the rich man and the poor man have to let death through the door.
We're not half so keen for money as one time we used to be;
I am thinking more of mother and she's thinking more of me.
Now we spend more time together, and I know we're meaning more
To each other on life's journey, than we ever meant before.
It was hard to understand it! Oh, the dreary nights we've cried!
But we've found the depth of loving, since the day that Jessie died.
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