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was ne’er the first
to let you go
miles on past the promise
you’d stay and I was
sworn to be your baby

a habit
sure to wear you down
a devil in a flannel gown
more than one
to drive you crazy

boots and lace
the dream replaced
kisses not for keeping
but for these
old memories

things we might have said

as proof of heaven
here on earth
graces ne’er
so undeserved
a picture of a picture
on the dresser
of your soul

I’ll make a place
for your returning
dare I keep
these embers burning
I was sworn
to be your baby

. . .