Her eyes are only closed for
a moment, it seems,
little hands in little fists,
little lips cold and closed,

her mother standing guard
as if waiting for
the girl to breathe again,
to shed the blueness of death and live

warm and safe in arms now
slack, exhausted from
long nights in the church
preparing to bury the child,

knowing there can be no
preparation for this,
no getting past it,
merely getting through it alive.