Get Your Premium Membership

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. Amen 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 . . . 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). Arisen 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. Amen Lullaby 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 listening, glistening . . . 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, elegy, eulogy, epitaph, death, dirge, wake, funeral, mourn, mourning, mum, mom, mother, mother son

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021

Post Comments

Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.

Please Login to post a comment

A comment has not been posted for this poem. Encourage a poet by being the first to comment.