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KEYES, Sidney

An early death

This is the day his death will be remembered

By all who weep:

This is the day his grief will be remembered

By all who grieve.

The winds run down the ice-begotten valleys

Bringing the scent of spring, the healing rain.

But the healing hands lie folded like dead birds:

Their stillness is our comfort who have seen him.

But for the mother what can I find of comfort?

She who wrought glory out of bone and planted

The delicate tree of nerves whose foliage

Responded freely to the loving wind?

Her grief is walking through a harried country

Whose trees, all fanged with savage thorns, are bearing

Her boy's pale body worried on the thorns.