By Morning You Were Gone

In winter, distance forced him into silence
Spring, brought us the promise of fresh captivity and the protection of a wish
On summer days, we played in fields,
and hid from him under the cover of big trees
But in the fall, when our sheets could feel the mocking of his laughter
We listened, to something only you could hear
You smiled at me, as I tried to guard the bed against my fear and hold you tightly against my chest,
but by morning you were gone
And as I lay beside your still and quiet body, feeling the coldness of your disappearing shadow
I thank the trees, the distance, and the spring’s promise
. . . for once loving you and I

(West Philadelphia: November, 1972)

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