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she comes to me this night
dressed as a young woman
the image of a protector, past.
i can see through her disguise
beyond the rightly painted smile
the powdered cheeks,
go away! i whisper,
you cannot be
yet i wish her close
as my own shallow breath that hovers now about me.
to hold her tightly within these withered arms
as I did as a child
close to my dying heart.
”oh youth” why did you take leave of me?
why did you not take this, my mind also?
she leans down, her hair black as the raven’s wing,
touching my face.
her eyes once green i remember.
how can this be, that they now glow red
it is not my protector who lies waiting,
still, for me on yonder hill.
who embraces me now-
an angel she surely was,
but not an angel that now touches me
with unfeeling hands,
only now the angel of death
my last breath leaves me
she holds me and guides me
she is no longer my angel of death
she transforms with my last breath
she is mom and my protector once again