The Cycle of Life was written
for a contest.  It required
using ten out of eleven words
they supplied.

This turned out to be my
favorite poem yet and has
won the most awards on

The Cycle of Life
by Xander Riley

The pain is intense as first comes the head,
But soon it's forgotten and replaced with dread.
No sound has come forth. Is the baby okay?
The doctor and nurses have nothing to say.

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"Please don't let my baby be taken by Death!"
Then Life begins with a cry at the start.
That first breath begins the beat of a heart.

Mom cuddles her young one and kisses her nose,
Then makes sure she has ten fingers, ten toes.
Smiles fill the room for the tiny new life.
Then Dad brings a rose for the mother, his wife.

Exchanging a glance, they're both thinking the same:
It's time to be giving the baby a name.
When they get home, the real trials will start
As the parents discover the depth of their part.

The days of sound sleep are a thing of the past.
A baby's shrill cry makes you move very fast.
The formula heats on the stove night and day,
And the diaper's small gift is the price that you pay.

The years pass so fast and she learns how to walk.
Then patience is taxed as she learns how to talk.
The questions are endless, from dawn until night,
But she must be taught what's wrong and what's right.

The first day at school is the hardest by far.
The tears fill your eyes as you sit in the car,
Hearing her pleas not to make her go in,
Knowing that she'll want to come back again.

Soon she'll be wanting to run out and play,
You'll see less and less of her every day.
Until she falls down and her knee starts to bleed,
Then the friends are forgotten, it's Mom that she needs.

The day finally comes when she notices boys,
And suddenly they're more important than toys.
Dad becomes more of a warden than friend.
He knows that the innocent days will soon end.

"My parents just don't understand about Prom!"
But when Daddy says "No", then it's time to ask Mom.
There's never a "right boy", they're all wrong it seems,
But she risks an escape to follow her dreams.

Dad's shoulder is there when she needs it to cry.
Or when she's mistreated by her newest guy.
She learns that her parents know more than she thought,
And regrets the numerous times that they fought.

A blink of the eye - she moves out on her own,
Leaving her parents at home all alone.
A woman has grown from the girl that they knew.
She has no free time and her visits are few.

At Christmas, she brings home a man as her date,
The man of her dreams. It must have been Fate
That brought them together as a perfect pair.
A man whose life she has promised to share.

It's hard to believe that this mother-to-be
Is the same little girl that you bounced on your knee.
The whole family is there when her twins arrive.
As grandparents, you'll be part of their lives.

Decades go by, your grandchildren have grown,
And most of them have some kids of their own.
You've lived a long life, watched each other grow old.
But the end is now here and your body feels cold.

A bright light appears in the room by your side.
You can't feel a thing, you know that you've died.
But inside that light is a person you know,
She beckons you closer, it's time that you go.

Her voice is soothing, "Your life has been long.
You raised a family and did nothing wrong.
You were there for your daughter and her family, too.
The way that I wish I had been there for you."

A mother's love can't be broken by death.
It continues eternal, long past your last breath.
You live on through family and friends you have made.
Your memory remains, it will never fade.

© Copyright 2008 Xander Riley