The wild bee reels from bough to bough
With his furry coat and his gauzy wing.
Now in a lily-cup, and now
Setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
In his wandering;
Sit closer love: it was here I trow
I made that vow,
Swore that two lives should be like one
As long as the sea-gull loved the sea,
As long as the sunflower sought the sun,—
It shall be, I said, for eternity
‘Twixt you and me!
Dear friend, those times are over and done.
Love’s web is spun.
Look upward where the poplar trees
Sway in the summer air,
Here n the valley never a breeze
Scatters the thistledown, but there
Great winds blow fair
From the mighty murmuring mystical seas,
And the wave-lashed leas.
Look upward where the white gull screams,
What does it see that we do not see?
Is that a star? or the lamp that gleams
On some outward voyaging argosy,—
Ah! can it be
We have lived our lives in a land of dreams!
How sad it seems.
Sweet, there is nothing left to say
But this, that love is never lost,
Keen winter stabs the breasts of May
Whose crimson roses burst his frost,
Will find a harbor in some bay,
And so we may.
And there is nothing left to do
But to kiss once again, and part,
Nay, there is nothing we should rue,
I have my beauty,—you your Art,
Nay, do not start,
One world was not enough for two
Like me and you.
This poem is in the public domain.
When you leave it will be empty:
dried leaves on gray-haired limbs,
clumps of gooseberry minus the berries.
Tracks across frozen water will lead
to a frigid channel,
springs seeping away from the source,
snow-covered hills reminding us
of the rolling, frozen sea.
The sun, low and yellow,
will not thaw any ice-covered bridges,
all slipping and falling,
no turtle miraculous emerging
from the snowbank to save me.
When you leave it will be all deer track
and rabbit scat, decayed leaf and prickly ash,
evidence of frantic digging.
Brush continuing a slow choke
over the disconnected sandbar,
little bluestem fighting back.
When you are gone it will be indelible
as a leaf fossil in ice, brief, no answer
in the night to the call of your name,
morning minus the light, forever
From In Our Very Bones (A Slow Tempo Press, 1997). Copyright © 1997 by Twyla Hansen. Used with the permission of the author.