Coffee; and eggnog; and as twilight
Drifts through the trees, and a gold cloud
Floats singly over the hills to highlight
The ambient darkness, and a shroud
Of silence falls upon the nesting
Birds, and the fevered earth is resting,
Sue brings down her cello and plays
A Bach suite that in earlier days
Her mother loved - and still loves - only
Where she once smiled, it now ensnares
Her in a weft of grief. She stares
Down at her mottled skin, her lonely,
Bent hands. She thinks: "Don't weep. Don't pray.
It's pain. It can't be wished away."