Now and Then
At work she smiled. Resting she made
a bracelet braided from her hair
to give her love, but he was dead
and never came again to her.
She wept a little time alone,
alone much longer moved and sat.
In time there came another one
who loved her dearly though so late.
She liked his love. She liked him well.
After long cold she liked the warm.
A few tears formed but scarcely fell.
She bound the bracelet on his arm.
Plaited in smiling love to bind
his arm in whom her soul had lived,
she gave it now to be a sign
that all she had and was she gave.
Alas, honest and warm and brave
she lost them both by one mistake.
Oneself is not one’s own to give
as though it were a braided lock.
The scissors left a little gap
filled long ago by growth, and now
the threads she wove in love and hope
grow dim to her and lose their power,
but on his arm still burning bright
as though lit by the inner flame
which sears his spirit day and night
they mark his bondage to a dream.