and nearer as I write
to knowing what it means...
As I write,
my loving heart
betrays my cold emotion.
I can no more put you aside
than cast away my latter eye.
Yours are the eyes through which I see,
your soul is the very depth of me,
the seat of my devotion.
There are those we love because we need,
like those whose need becomes our own.
We passed a season thus and thus,
chose with care the ways we trod
and smelled the flower's scent, breeze-blown.
Then springtime passed, and with it brought
a newer kiss, of comfort this,
spring's urgence gone, summer's warmth drawing on,
till we woke one day and found we loved
because we loved, the need for need now gone.
Letters counted out in drops of desperation
can't be counted on to solve a situation.
Thinking back to former days
and the struggle to prove the worth
of one's own existence -
I promised myself
that whatever would make you happy
that much would I give you.
I did not realise then
the gift was beyond man's price
or ability to pay.
I could not buy you things,
so I gave love instead -
a poor substitute.
Later - still lacking money -
I gave myself.
It was the last gift I had.
Then, a spoilt child once-chided in life's birthday party,
I asked for my gift back,
not knowing it was without value
without that you used it.
It was new when I first gave it you.
But please accept it back,
tarnished a trifle though it seems to me.
Perhaps if you polish it,
it may yet shine again.
© John McNeil 1998. All rights reserved.
This poem may be used free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged to a performance. In exchange, the author would appreciate being notified of any occasion the poem is used in public performance. He may be contacted at: email@example.com