Hymn to Her
Fully twenty-one but having never
really known a man, you were uncertain
of your response to my attentions.
Inexperienced, yet so wise,
you held my hand and said
looking straight into my eyes:
I'm fond of you, you know that, and
would like to give myself to a man...
But I don't think I'm ready yet for that.
In the ensuing stillness,
the purr of the car itself
seemed like an offence.
Your unswerving clarity took me
to a world more elemental
where a man who wants a woman
simply says so and she
either has him or no.
Now, a year later,
again it's your birthday in spring
amidst the melting snows of another continent.
I reach out to you mentally
with questions I shall never ask:
Will you have me now?
Or will you turn me down?
I get the unexpected answer
after two friendly letters:
"Don't ever try to write or get in touch.
Your letters will be returned unopened."
Still hurting from the sudden rupture
I wonder whom you're more cruel to--
the past you've so harshly denied
or the future you wish to shape anew--
are you most unfair to me or you?
As I write these lines I know that
it must be to yourself you're most unkind;
as for me, thank God (or the Muse of Love),
whether in acceptance or rejection,
the poems keep coming somehow.
|Copyright © 2005 - Makarand Paranjape|