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Collected Poems

Song For a Woman

page 77

Song For a Woman

How should he know, this man of mine,
so strong, so true, so lovingkind,
that when he takes me in his arms
his love goes by, is not confined
within the meshes of my mind?

His vision of my loins, I know,
blooms like a rose as thrust on thrust
he loves me, till his brow is wet,
and splits my womb and spills his lust;
but my rose blooms in older dust.

The image burning in my brain
springs from another's loins, whose vow
was made by lust, renounced by time;
and though his mark is on my brow
I'm nothing to his purpose now.

My body has no secret thoughts,
fulfils its office, works by rote;
the mind alone knows second-best;
I'll bear his children, let him dote,
and cook his food and mend his coat.