Delighted at prancing and dancing
Over the soft earth and through the warm grass
Of her father's farm-
She found there at five
A tiny gold flower, barely alive
Clinging to the river's side
So she took it up and showed to her father's tired eyes.
Grew and showed anew every year's impossible
Return of the lily, now no larger than her fingernail
Next as wide as her delight
Yet always on but one day in the bright spring.
A woman there stood, beside her father's rest
Stood with a dewy tear to see her lone friend
Bowing his haloed face toward her sorrow
On this, his one glorious day.
Never did she invite another to join her at the river's side
Never did she look across the flowing water
But only picked the flower every year
The bloom that only she could see.
And, finally, she rested there beside her father
Beside the clearness of icy tailings
At her head one shivering, golden marker...
At last left to go to seed.
The next spring saw two coins where for a lifetime shined one
Three years later, the graves overgrown, the banks teeming with shimmering gold
When a tiny child was brought by her doting daddy to wash her dirty hands at the water
Its cold splashed playfully on face and father's alike without knowing on whose beds they sat
She reached out to grasp a flower there, the valley-wide harvest of another life.