Then They Left (Poem)

Neal Pollard

I was there for their first moments here,
Just an hour or two ago (it seems)
They arrived with fanfare and our united cheer
An awesome responsibility, but better than our fondest dreams

They were so dependent, small and needy
We had to do everything for them
But boy the days and years elapsed, so speedy
Though each memory is vivid, not dim.

They were at our dinner table, laughing and talking
In the yard, at the park, and at church
Inquisitive, innocent, working and walking
Their way through childhood, each day a new search.

They grew close together and enriched both our lives
Always amazing us with their heads and their hearts
Could we imagine they’d speak of jobs, much less wives?
Rascals made of frogs, snails, and dog tails, equal parts.

But the stages rushed on one after another
We couldn’t stopped them, even if we’d have wanted
Their influences grew beyond father and mother
And they embraced each change, eager and undaunted

How quickly the boys changed to men,
From “roof trucks,” “poppers,” and cartoons,
Bob the Builder, Digger Doug, library loads, and then
Like that, on their own, way too soon!

I say, but really, it’s why God gave them to us
To nurture, to love, and to train,
To bond and build Him servants, what a trust!
Such a stewardship, though we now feel heart pain.

We’ll continue to be concerned for their well-being,
And wonder how they’re doing today,
Though their absent in body, we know we’ll be seeing
Their fruits as they strive to go the narrow way.

God gave them to us, Carl, Gary, and Dale
Starting way back in 1993,
We knew we’d be returning each, but without fail
It was hard, but we entrust them to Him most mighty!