| Quote #4
"What had how long it takes a birch to rot
This time, it's the woman using euphemisms to talk about death. The thing in the darkened parlor, we can guess, is her dead child's body.
| Quote #5
"No, from the time when one is sick to death,
The woman's view of death is a lonely one indeed. Listen to the sounds in these lines—we can hear the long mournful "o" sounds declaring her depression and sadness. She has jumped from discussing her son's mortality here to talking about death in general, with some mopey assonance to boot.
| Quote #6
"Friends make pretense of following to the grave,
The woman continues talking about how lonely dying is, as if she were the one who were dead, not her son. But perhaps she makes a good point—she feels that her son died alone, that she is going to die alone, and that her husband can't even come close to supporting her in her grief.