Saturday, May 11, 2013

"Dedicated to my Daughter on her Sixteenth Birthday": a poem from my Mom

Sad is the time
When the age of innocence is past
And the eyes of the child
Who looked upon the bird
and the flower
with wonder and pleasure
And who put a tiny finger into the water
to watch a ripple
form and fade,
And the tiny hands
Feeling of the richness of the dewy grass,
And finding comfort
In arms that cradle her,
Until two tiny lids
As soft as petals of a rose
close over them,
And she sleeps the sleep of Angels
And awakens to new wonders
to explore
and feel
and pleasure,
Listening for sounds
Of love and softness...

She does not know
What pleasure she gives
To those who love her.

Sad is the time
When the age of innocence is past,
And the eyes of the child
Become the eyes
of a girl-woman.
Still trying to see the world
bathed in the cloak
of happiness.

Trying to blink away
the sounds of reality
as if they were not there.

Trying to understand
the new emotions
within her
and yearning still
For the love and comfort
and softness of her innocence,

And trying to conceal
her heart
from disappointments and fear
With too much talk
too much laughter
too few tears.

And she looks tenderly
Upon those who sleep
the sleep of Angels
and are cradled
in the arms of love.

Sad is the time
When the age of innocence is past!

But, from the experience
of sadness
Comes the experience of joy
In finding that God
has Blessed her,

With the capacity to love
and be loved.

In finding that life
holds many challenges
And the rewards
are gratifying.

In finding that all the fears
And frustrations of youth,
Are but a stepping stone
To a more mature
Understanding of human nature,

And in finding
That the beauty
of God's creation
can be felt
with her heart
as well as
with her hands.

Marie Victoria Kelly, April 19, 1969