Her landlord’s kids have strewn the walk with toys;
She smiles as she steps around a trike.
She hears within a laughing, running noise,
The joy of children to the childlike:
And after some brief play, she’s off to hike
The longish stairs that lead her to her room.
She flips a switch to chase away the gloom
That never really leaves nor really stays
(Except when tears unbidden come at night)
But she is cheerful on the worst of days.
She pauses by the mirror at her sight
(The wind has blown today – her hair’s a fright)
But soon downstairs she goes to talk and eat,
Before she makes her evening’s long retreat.
Up in her room, she thinks of what she’ll write.
Ideas she has, like waves or grains of sand —
She’ll work on three or four of them tonight,
Then stop to listen to a favorite band
Remembering, at once, his darkened hand
And that he is no longer by her side:
The man who played the groom to her young bride.
The house is quiet, all the kids in bed;
The night is still and peaceful in the main:
And love has never died within her head,
Nor been defeated by the throbbing pain
Of heart so full, it cannot all retain —
But still, the graceful night enfolds its own,
And love surrounds her, even when alone