[Close as the tree’s bark]

Close as the tree’s bark

She stood by him, her youth

Looked out serenely

At rain and wind and lightning flash.

And on her face I drew, for want

Of better things to do,

The lines of life, of age,

Of mistrust and abandonment.

For neither would his soft, fair voice

Or explanations keep her by him

When time had had its say,

And life had laid its trail.