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25 October 2005

Elaine -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

I just turned 31 last week. It is the second birthday after the death of my brother in July of last year. Remember how in movies the way people are able to sense, like picking up vibrations in the air the coming anniversary of a death? You know, the guy whose girlfriend comes to him a day and a half after he has been behaving strangely; gently lays her hand on his arm and says, "It's fifteen years ago today, isn't it? Since your father died."

Well, I forgot. He died on July 12, 2004, I got the call the morning of the 13th. Three days and a year later, it occurs to me, that there had been an anniversary. But last Monday I turned 31. And he should have been 30. And it breaks me apart.

Elaine
by
Edna St. Vincent Millay

OH, come again to Astolat!
I will not ask you to be kind.
And you may go when you will go,
And I will stay behind.

I will not say how dear you are,
Or ask you if you hold me dear,
Or trouble you with things for you
The way I did last year.

So still the orchard, Lancelot,
So very still the lake shall be,
You could not guess--though you should guess--
What is become of me.

So wide shall be the garden-walk,
The garden-seat so very wide,
You needs must think--if you should think--
The lily maid had died.

Save that, a little way away,
I'd watch you for a little while,
To see you speak, the way you speak,
And smile,--if you should smile.

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