Why have you gone?
Why could I not save you?
Why did you never tell me
what it was you needed
or that you needed it
at all? Why did I not see?
Were you so afraid
to spoil my joy? Was I
so afraid to look in your eyes
and see what I once prayed
to be spared from seeing? If love
alone could heal your hurts,
I could have done it
a thousand times over.
Yet it wasn't enough.
What can do it
if not that?
All my efforts and care
have been in vain.
I've failed you. So it seems.
Now you've sailed away
taking a huge chunk
of my heart with you;
why could you not
have given it back
if it could not avail you?

I look about and think
on what I've been given.
How could gold, gems, palaces,
crowns, velvet array, sounding trumpets
ever begin to take the place
of home and family, devoted wife,
staunch friends, burgeoning garden,
trees of gold, flickering fireside,
the esteem of our folk,
every comfort any could wish?
Why could you not have them too?
Why could your face not glow
as a roomful of candles
over the tiny curl
of your newborn's fingers
about your own?
Why could you not know
the heavenly bliss
of watching its mother
suckle it in the morning light
and sing it to rest
in the evening's glow?
Why could you not have
the comfort of lying
by her side in the biting chill
of winter, the boundless thrill
of her lips and body
in the night, the waking
to her pillowed face
smiling into yours?
You who were most deserving
of all such bounty,
you who gave us hope
and took none for yourself,
pain and loss have been
your only reward.
Why must it be thus?

Now I can but turn back
wounded by the weight
of ten thousand questions
and leave you to drift
into the bright unknown
and nurse this burning
in my own heart
as best as I can
and wonder if it will ever know ease
and why it is that no matter
how much you care
for someone, sometimes
you just don't have
what they really need.
And I will just have to trust
that you will be happy
as I think you truly will;
surely they'll see to it
that you have your due
although I can't picture
what could be for you there.
Still, that will be my comfort now.
And someday I can sing again
and make rhymes for my babes
with no ache in my throat
and dream of the day
that I'll see your face
as it was, young and smiling
so many years gone
and finally know
the solace of answers.

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