If I Have Gone To Sleep

If I depart in early sleep
__And cease to be with you,
My thoughts I’d leave for you to read,
To hold your hands in times of need,
__to soothe your grieving too.

I’ve written words you have not read
__That speak of you, my love.
In them, I do express for you
A love as deep as oceans blue
__And wide as space above.

We’ve lived as one for many years
__Despite some days of pain,
But never did we keep a thought
From holding back the love we sought,
__But strove for it to reign.

For forty-one abiding years,
__I’ve prized my time with you.
And I do hope we both will see
The dawn ahead when we’ll be free
__From death and sadness too.

But if I were to fall asleep
__Before what will be new,
Remember this: the hope we hold,
The one that God will soon unfold,
__Will bring us back anew.

So cherish all the words I’ll leave
__If I have gone to sleep,
For they will be my hands on you,
Caresses from the man you knew,
__Forever yours to keep.



Angel L. Villanueva is a poet and a USPS mail carrier residing in Massachusetts.

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22 Responses

  1. Michael Pietrack

    Beautiful sentiments. Stanza 5 made me think of these scriptures:

    John 5:28-29
    John 11:24
    Revelation 21:3-4

    • Angel L. Villanueva

      Michael, thank you for your comment. Yes, those, as well as similar scriptures, were ones I kept in mind when writing the poem. The resurrection hope is a wonderful one.

  2. Brian A. Yapko

    Angel, I found this poem to be deeply moving. You have described so beautifully the very nature of love. Thank you for this.

    • Angel L. Villanueva

      I truly appreciate your comment, Brian. Thank you. I was trying to capture within those short stanzas the strong love and bond a married couple has developed in their relationship over the years. I’m glad to know it carried through.

  3. Paul A. Freeman

    A moving poem, indeed, that flows so well.

    Thanks for the read, Angel.

  4. Gigi Ryan

    This poem is a thoughtful, comforting treasure. Thank you for sharing it.

  5. Shamik Banerjee

    This poem creates a soothing effect when read aloud. So simple, yet so touching and above all, its musicality flows beautifully without an iota of disruption. Thanks for sharing it, Angel.

    • Angel L. Villanueva

      I’m so glad you like it, Shamik. I was hoping that the consistent meter, rhyme scheme, and rhythmic flow would give it a musical feel. I appreciate your thoughtful expression.

  6. Margaret Coats

    Happy forty-first anniversary, Angel! This is an affecting love poem concerning the poet’s possible early death that might be considered the end of love, but you express hope that “both will see/The dawn ahead.” That is admirably realistic romance about the future “that God will soon unfold.” Also, I notice that you refer to the love the two of you were seeking, rather than a love possessed. This is a wonderful acknowledgment that we ourselves and what we do can always use attention and effort moving toward the ideal. As well, you have two intriguing references to hands–first that thoughts of the departed will hold the hands of the grieving survivor (those poems you mention acting as hands, perhaps). And at the end of the poem, poetic words will be caressing hands (as cherished words kept in memory). A special “rounding” or ring-like conclusion to a lovely poem.

    • Angel L. Villanueva

      Thank you very much, Margaret. My wife and I were relatively young when we got married—20 and 22. Those early years were challenging, but they were also happy ones, as have been the ones that followed. We just needed to work together and face each challenge as one.

      I intended the reference to ‘hands’ in the first and last stanzas to express the thoughts you nicely highlighted. This poem reminds me of another one I wrote in free verse years ago, called “Walk With Me.” That idea relates to the various phases of love that develop over the course of a marriage. Once again, thank you!

  7. Yael

    This is a beautiful love poem which I enjoyed reading very much, thank you! Like Margaret, I also love the imagery of poetic words as caressing hands which transcend and endure past the poet’s life time.

  8. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Simply beautiful. I love the mellifluous flow. The closing stanza shines. Thank you, Angel.

  9. Adam Sedia

    This is a poignant love poem, one of the finest I’ve read recently. It begs to be set to music.

    • Angel L. Villanueva

      Many thanks, Adam. I’m grateful for your kind expression. I’m pleased that the rhyme scheme and meter I employed in this poem, along with its rhythmic flow, added to its lyrical quality.


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