Before dawn I felt a touch,
heard a soft voice whisper “Come,”
a pause and then that voice again,
“Your race you have now run.”
I shook my head, withdrew my hand,
I weakly whispered “No.
How can I leave this woman
Sitting quietly by the window?
“O Mr Death I cannot come!
Look on this vignette—
how morning’s growing light
softly frames her silhouette.
“She and I have things to do,
loving not yet completed.”
and I hear my own voice vow
“I will not by you be defeated.
“When you some other time return
I may merely follow,
say goodbye to this
quintessence of joy and sorrow.
But her soft touch makes
your cold grip fall away.”
Then weakly turning towards the light
I embrace again the coming day.
First published at Blue Heron Review, Winter Edition, 2018