Kitten in an interwebtube


The Parting

She passed the thorn-trees, whose gaunt branches tossed
Their spider-shadows round her; and the breeze,
Beneath the ashen moon, was full of frost,
And mouthed and mumbled to the sickly trees,
Like some starved hag who sees her children freeze.

Dry-eyed she waited by the sycamore.
Some stars made misty blotches in the sky.
And all the wretched willows on the shore
Looked faded as a jaundiced cheek or eye.
She felt their pity and could only sigh.

And then his skiff ground on the river rocks.
Whistling he came into the shadow made
By that dead tree. He kissed her dark brown locks;
And round her form his eager arms were laid.
Passive she stood, her secret unbetrayed.

And then she spoke, while still his greeting kiss
Ached in her hair. She did not dare to lift
Her eyes to his her anguished eyes to his,
While tears smote crystal in her throat. One rift
Of weakness humored might set all adrift.

Anger and shame were his. She meekly heard.
And then the oar-locks sounded, and her brain
Remembered he had said no farewell word;
And wild emotion swept her; and again
Left her as silent as a carven pain.

She, in the old sad farmhouse, wearily
Resumed the drudgery of her common lot,
Regret remembering. 'Midst old vices, he,
Who would have trod on, and somehow did not,
The wildflower, that had brushed his feet, forgot.

The Parting by Madison Julius Cawein