There it lies, a little shoe
Odd1y that, at least to you.
Just such others, six or more
Patter on the nursery floor.
And your heart and lips are smiling,
Some sweet thought is you beguiling,
Of one little pair of feet
That will hurry out to meet
Mother. . . . And when they have found you,
Chubby arms will cling around you.
You will have no need to call him:
Neither sleep nor death enthrall him.
You will hold him to your breast
With an utter sense of rest,
All your own within your grasp.
At your neck the baby clasp.
And to me a tearless weeping,
And a hunger never sleeping,
As I stand, my heart outleaping,
Knocking, knocking at the door,
Where God stands forevermore.
For He holds the wee one who
Once did wear this little shoe.
And the tender little voice,
That did make my heart rejoice,
Maybe He has taught another
Language, and the childish clinging,
Has died out in his upbringing,
And he will not know his mother.
Not the shoe, but what was in it,
As the cage that holds the linnet,
Did I love; but Christ bereft me.
And the husk alone is left me;
On my dead heart let it lie.
I could leave it, if on high
My lost little one should meet me,
Tottering, hurrying up to greet me.
This you know not-only you
See a little common shoe.