The Burned Child

LOVE has had his way with me.
      This my heart is torn and maimed
Since he took his play with me.
    Cruel well the bow-boy aimed,

Shot, and saw the feathered shaft
    Dripping bright and bitter red.
He that shrugged his wings and laughed––
    Better had he left me dead.

Sweet, why do you plead me, then,
    Who have bled so sore of that?
Could I bear it once again? . . .
    Drop a hat, dear, drop a hat!


From Enough Rope (Boni & Liveright, 1926) by Dorothy Parker. This poem is in the public domain.