substitute

they stood beside the frozen lake;
bare winter was at hand —
he’d always felt her reticence,
but didn’t understand

she looked at him with so much love,
then drew herself a breath,
and though a tear was in her eye,
she looked a bit like death —

but she was honest to the core,
and would not there mislead him;
she had to tell her simple truth,
however it might grieve him —

i’m grateful for the kindness, but
i’ll brook no synonym —
there cannot be a substitute:
for you cannot

be him

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