Remiss

Before me, in my hand, lies certainty,
Fast bound within its scratch of scented scrawl,
Such witness ’pon stark scrap of parchment white
To bring me sharp against remorseful heart.

So slight a burden here to hold, think I,
For weight of former years it brings to bear;
Soft Summer’s mellow laughs and shining eyes
Drawn once from depth of love’s o’erflowing well.

Before me, in my grasp, lies fresh regret,
Reminder wrought of love’s now distant hand,
Of many chances lost through thoughtlessness
To say the words I know I should have said.

What weighty heart I here do hold, know I,
For sentiments of such a lightness shown;
Late Autumn’s ochre flush and mist-filled eyes
Draw hope’s dry pail from long o’erboarded well.

Before me, in my palm, lies nothing now,
A chill not warmed by hearth’s brief flaming glow;
So final in its ashen curls it speaks
Of love’s slow fall, like sand ’tween fingers’ hold.

Clive S. Johnson

Poet for August

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