I have borne this thought through trouble and trial,
For month upon month and year upon year.
He has featured in dreams and many a prayer,
His image beside me for mile upon mile.
I have seen of his frippery yet guessed of his trial,
Yet never has perished my wish that he heals.
I have heard as his mind turns in great broken wheels,
And ever I ache for his heartbreak meanwhile.
I have grown for my pruning the fruits of a quest:
A quest for his joy and not for his care.
I will call him a knight and banish his fear,
And then we both shall be peaceful, and rest.
I have hoped for a lifetime that he might find faith,
That I might somehow guide him to willing rebirth.
But I know I alone can’t restore the just worth
Of a man whose mind is still irked by its wraith.
I have set out for myself that love cannot be
Till hope is revived and sins are forgotten.
Still yet I acknowledge that round fruit are rotten,
For he is reluctant, and I seem too free.
Does he think I’m dumb if I disdain to speak?
Does he think I’m joyful if I pull a smile?
He calls himself clever, but has he seen through my guile?
Does he not see that though I seem strong I’m so weak?
I have lied and deceived him and he has my shame:
We are not so unalike as he likes to believe,
So into the food of the fearful I'll cleave.
I prefer to sit down, so am I, then, lame?
I thank him for giving me a sense of obligation,
Though he breaks me when he shows me again he has none.
But rest cannot be till right has him won
For, presumptuous, I decreed that I’m his salvation.