"Let's have a game of truth or dare," she said.
She snapped a longly hanging willow-wand.
We shared the field with no one but ourselves
And the willow that knew us from the play of years
That fountained alone and yellow in the field.
Winter's tears to April dew had yielded.
"The game is played by our both being blind
Until the willow tells true where true love abides."
A hint of mischief's smile filled my closing look.
She offered an antennae-end; I felt and took.
"A willow wand between two lovers' hands
Communicates the tension of love's bond."
The switch, whip-supple, wetly flailed,
Live as a shedding snake held head and tail.
I felt, where dew-bewildered life had broken off,
A sad pull; something, then, lent something soft
To our springtime game of gain and loss.
The wand had left a distance for us to cross
And reared between us a budded arch
Forever flowerless as frozen March.
"My question is: Will you love me all your life?"
"What you mean is: Will we be man and wife?"
I broke into a laughter I did not understand.
The willow sent it on to her own blind hand.
Perhaps this willow, being the duticle thing it is,
Adds a playful pulse to those it passes.
Something about the way the time compressed,
Or how the intercessor willow hissed,
Misgave me to give the game my heart;--
And that too went out along the drying bark.
What we are, I thought, we are by accident.
What happens makes us bend as we are bent.
I kept eyes open now, sure that hers were shut.
A glimmer or a tremor of I knew not what
Laid a furrow clear across her forehead,
As when question answers question as we'd feared
And not as we had hoped. The bond, the branch, snapped
Sudden as two children's hands can clap.