One by One


One by one, they began.

Like far of flames no bigger than the grains of sand between shore and sea.

They began.

They are always there, in their own way as important as the emptiness.

Even when mine was the only one I could see, they were yet there.


One by one,

They began to flicker brighter,

Move closer to my world.

One by one, they touched me.

All too soon it was the ones not meant to be.

The young ones,

The special ones,

Who should have outshone mine.

One by one, they grew in number,

And the aggregate of mine own light yet still was bright.


And then one by one,

They were part of me.

So hard at first to understand,

So painful to perceive,

So mournful to accept,

And yet it must be-

For all that is darkness has an opposite in light,

And for all those that have left,

So others have emerged,

And while all is in balance, so it must continue.


One by one they came closer

Closer to my door.

One by one they were acquaintances, my friends,

Then closer still.

One by one they took from my aggregate

To the point at which each diminished mine own.

And then I was but one alone

And no other included me in their aggregate.

And then, as my staff and rod were taken,

So mine own began to fade.


One by one they came,

And one by one they ceased.

It must be but no consolation is this.

The pain is bitter, bitter yet to the point of acceptance.

Gone are the questions of reasoning,

There is no logic within, there is no point without.

Now I set quietly watching those most important to me wane,

And then flicker, and then leave.

The ever firm handshake, becoming a weaker shadow if its past,

Watching the embers die; feeling the warmth recede.


One by one, mine own fails.

One by one, in time, I will be in their number.



Andrew White

June 13, 2003

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