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A baby dying

Against her breast the infant clings,
in soothing tones she whispers low,
surrounded by familiar things
which fill this sad scenario,
and stooping, cradles, softly sings
in rhythm to the heartbeat slow.

Within this still embrace there dwells
a love too deep for words to tell,
as through the song her sorrow swells
as breath meets breath they say farewell.

The child is pulled towards her breast,
his forehead by her kisses crowned,
and neither one can keep their breath,
and neither think this fact profound,
that lullabies now herald death
and only she now hears the sound.

by Stephen Hiron

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