I. I shall never hear the city sirens
But I will see a young boy, laying prone
In the midst of powerless environs
And we, who waited, feeble flesh and bone
I shall never hear a creature wailing
But I will see his father on his knees
Mad with grief, and cowed by human failing
With Gods and thieves stone deaf to hear his pleas
In that dark nether world my soul will mourn
Exchanging magic for humility
That we are not invincible, but born
Of anatomical fragility
Of all the things most incongruous wild:
Shock-sudden death, and anyone’s small child

All that goes into creating a breath
An opus, a spell, or legerdemain
Does not the same escort us unto death?
The random gifts of grace, as much as pain
Then did the angels whisper, at his birth
Predilect his father, begging rescue
From insufficient time upon this earth
Young son lain unconscious on the fescue
The butterfly my daughter could not save
She brought me, stiff of wing, pronouncing dead
Cradled reverently, then made a grave
“Sweet Butterfly” was all the headstone said
Blessings on the fledgling souls we cherished
The boy and the Mourning Cloak have perished

-H.P.Hart, 7.12

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