Ah me, laddie...
In my time
I’ve birthed a few like you.
They come out spanking pale and gleaming
and eager for the path unfolds
glistening dew to the morning town;
they go with fear, until they know
and remember what they want is knowing,
remembering without fear
where they stood before and in what land,
or if she was read and in what books,
where down by the water curl you walked
in the tide pools, among the clams and reeds,
and close on the right a brace of ships at berth
bathed in consuming sun, and she touched your arm,
remarked upon the beauty. You agreed,
but knew it lay not on that shore nor in that spanking sun
nor with its twin broken in trailing glitter beneath the near horizon
but lodged in something else, something in you both,
the beauty she, and then you knew:
the story stood unreflected,
and that you could not speak.
Ah me, laddie.
I see that you’ve been thinking of her, too.
But have no fear:
you’ll never in your arms again
hold that lady fair.
February 16, 1975
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