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This Child's Eyes

A Poem Written in 2000 by Howard Ditkoff

This poem expressed my feelings shortly after a friend killed herself.

Pools of blue, this baby’s eyes
That conjure up to my surprise
The rising hopes and ebbing tides
In days of long ago

Her tiny hand a memory of
A heartache stricken time of love
That heaven sent from up above
And crashed far down below

The first glimpse of her at the door
A portal to the ones before
Who though unique resembles scores
Of others in the past

Her smile half a hidden frown
With dreams raised up and lips turned down
The sense of loss as once we found
First moments cannot last

On dark and desolate autumn eves
We walked upon the fallen leaves
And still the mind was not deceived
These days would not remain

The tender touch upon my hand
Exciting, new, yet vaguely bland
The trembling fear to understand
How pleasure turns to pain

And standing on the marshy shore
Of time still there, yet nevermore
Of memories one hates to adore
So clear amidst the haze

Her sweet face in the lake’s reflection
Pondering time’s intersection
Features half escape detection
Ghosts of future days

Those moments filled with glee and bliss
Tinged with future bitterness
For endings of a time like this
A faint and distant knock

The crossroads of the past and present
Mixing pain with that so pleasant
Hardly heard and yet incessant
Tickings of the clock

The sweet familiar smell of grass
The powders of the hourglass
As present turns to foregone past
And white fades into black

The unwound tails of tangled string
That hold together everything
And each take what the others bring
Then slowly give it back

Perception is not what it seems
But memories of future dreams
That fill the air with tortured screams
Reminding us once more

Of lessons that we learned too late
That magnify the truly great
And thoughts of joy I love to hate
Come floating to the shore

To make me wonder, could it be
That she’s half gone, yet here with me
And years from now that I might see
My blindness of today?

That somewhere in another place
Those missing features of her face
Have become clear and full of grace
To never fade away?

So when I hear this child’s cries
And sing her soothing lullabies
No longer shall I be surprised
If spirits fill the room

For in each lake of sparkling blue
Unmoving as time ripples through
In each child’s eyes that stare through you
Her soul must surely loom

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Copyright 2003-2018, Howard