the shell of a woman after the surgeon’s knife!
almost a year to creep back into strength,
the dawn of our wedding decennial
me my seeming self again.
walked the forest together,
a path of soundless moss and turf.
I could not look in your eyes,
you could not look in my eyes,
such sorrow was ours—the beginning of gray in your
I but a shell of myself.
what did we talk of?—sky and water,
‘most, to hide our thoughts.
then your gift of wild roses,
on the table to grace our dinner.
heart, how bravely you struggled
imagine and live a remembered rapture!
my spirit drooped as the night came on,
you left me alone in my room for a while,
you did when I was a bride, poor heart.
I looked in the mirror and something said:
should be all dead when one is half-dead—
ever mock life, nor ever cheat love."
I did it looking there in the mirror—
have you ever understood?