Sorrow – the sleep of Joy – slips slowly in,
on evening shadows when her day is done
And tips her cup of Chamomile to catch
the last touch of warmth
from the beauty of the day that has been

She lifts Joy up, stepping stocking-footed
among the pages of Harlequin romance
scattered underfoot where Joy let them fall
as sleep found her, alone, with the TV Guide

She draws the flannel covers back
to lay sweet Joy’s head upon the pillow
And keep watch by the window
as the heavens turn

What could have been, but was not,
and what was – Basho’s lament: “If only, if only”
She sings hope’s saddest song
her own long, lingering lullaby

Until the eastern sky grows crimson
with creeping flame of day
And Sorrow, lulled to sleep at bedside
by the dreams of what could have been
Awakes again as Joy, to the beauty of what simply is

(For a friend who just lost her father)

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