A pile of heavy winter boots
Makes puddles by the kitchen door
And icy mittens, hats, and coats
Reflect the snowy day’s explore.
The day was rich and fast and fun
And all the beds are filled, but one.

Now suppertime has come and gone,
The table full, each belly fed.
The conversation lingered on
Till weary, we climbed into bed.
The sun has set, the day is done,
And all the heads are kissed, but one.

We lie alone, with grateful hearts
And memories that will not fade.
But slow and long, these years apart—
Oh, how I wish our girl had stayed.
Another Christmas come and gone,
And memories made with all but one.

But just beyond these lovely days,
Alongside streets of bronze and gold
Our daughter dances, laughs, and plays,
And paints in brushstrokes bright and bold,
Here, all the dreads of earth are gone
And Son shines brighter than the sun,
And death has lost its sting at last.
And beds are filled, and life begun.

—S.L.V., December 2013