Shall I?

Shall I flatter thee
With poetry,
And pen with hallowed hue thy brittle heart?
Or shall I now expose
This summer’s rose
To winter’s cruel sting? Dare I depart
And draw dear Leah’s eyes
Without disguise?
(As morning light reveals another bride)
I fear to lift the veil
From such a pale
And tender bud by spreading petals wide.

I’ve seen the secret place
Upon thy face
Where wind and rain had forced thy blossom’s womb
To bare its nakedness —
I must confess
With greatest grief the choice of thy perfume —
It takes away my breath
As scents of death
Invisibly invade my open door.
And who can stop these storms
Whose strength deforms
The dearest rose? And yet, I love thee more.

1/10/1983

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