‘A time to mourn” - Ecclesiastes 3:4
we’ve punched the unforgiving
wall; tried to beat the clock, drilled the hourglass to spin balletic twirls,
watching, weighing, one-by-one,
the unceasing flow of sand grains
that will rub us raw until we meet again.
We promised that we’d never
leave you. But we’ve had to
let you go. Now we’ll each clasp
you singly, leave a lingering,
heartsick kiss; a warming gift
to ease the lonely journey to
your eternal home.
Darling, beloved daughter,
our life - enormous soul –
how hard for us to comprehend
that your fleeting time on
earth has gone.
Once – a thousand times! –
you’d shrug off sleep –
romp, wriggle, excite those
near you in your rush for life;
to honour, cherish, Heaven’s name.
Here you’re at eternal rest;
in a place where none else may lie,
where great men ponder what
tribute more they may offer to
a mite aged four, who’d
barely learnt to laugh before
been taught to die.
Author’s Note: Adele Biton, a four-year-old Israeli, died of pneumonia on Tuesday 17 February 2015, two years after she sustained critical head wounds when the car in which she was travelling on Route 5 in Samaria was attacked by rock-throwing Palestinians. She is survived by her parents, three sisters and an infant brother, who was born a few months before her passing. The poem above is based on the eulogies at her funeral.
(© Natalie Irene Wood – 19 February 2015)