A Life Too Brief
“Sally Ann Cox was born 2 February, 1868.
Sally Ann Cox departed this world 8 July, 1868.”
In faded letters, paper creased and torn,
the bible’s binding broken, now, with age,
—a baby’s name, the dates when she was born
and died, after five months—engrave the page.
Two simple lines, and so much left unsaid
about their lives: a family’s grief unspoken,
a girl no sooner born than wrapped and dead,
and like the book, their dreams for her thus broken.
Who did she favor, what was the cause of death,
this soul whose mortal time on earth was snuffed?
Why was her heart extinguished, quick as breath
upon a candle flame — a wisp, a puff?
Such loss was born by pioneers possessed
of will more strong than we can ever guess.