Why so sad?

We all children
I went home to see my Mother
In the quiet house.
Children, twelve, had we been
And children we returned.

Shades of tomorrow we all
Have plucking at our heels.
“Look at me,” they say, each one,
Young dreams, attention-starved.

Constantly our shades will clamor
If we regard them still.
Mother watched her shades leave her
And we watched her watch them.

Each of us within her grew till
Our time had come for birth.
Now in her the end of dreaming
Quelled all tomorrow’s sprites.

We all children understood that
Her sunrise soon would come.
Blessed by her, by God’s free gift, we
Saw childhood’s end, our night.