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Poetry by Rachel A. Gold

Story of Life

by Rachel A. Gold

Five years ago it was, years long and sad,
Years full of heartache, bravely hid by pride;
None knew that I had anything to hide,
Because of a tradition our town had,
An old, old saying when the town was young,
"The ugly cannot love. Affection strong
To them is e'er unknown." This ancient song
To me ofttimes in early youth was sung.
I was fair, and in a town o'er full
Of beauties proud my lot was hard to bear,
To be ignored was nothing, but to hear
Remarks so jeering form a mind so dull!
I speak of one, who yet above the rest
Has made my life a burden, she the one
Who, when a child, my days from sun to sun
Unhappy made, as germs that can infest
The sores of children with such tiny feet,
And yet annoy; though nowhere can be laid
The finger saying, "Thus and thus she made
My joy to flee and bitterness to meet."
While yet a child she subtly, craftily
And cleverly did show her stronger power,
Her winning wiles brought favor by the hour;
She still took care to know that I should see!
Thus time went on, and still story went,
More beautiful she grew each day by day;
And admiration seemed to go her way,
While I was grateful for small favors sent;
Her friends were many, and her power was strong;
At last I felt that I could bear no more,
With small regret long planted roots I tore
Up from their costumed place, and wandered long;
Almost forgotten was my old-time foe;
Some years passed, and at last I came to rest
As some bird, homeless, flying wild, a nest
At some lone point is apt to seek and know,
I came to rest at such a lonely spot,
So wild, not beautiful, and yet my home;
'Twas near the ocean, very near, the foam,
Used, during storms, to touch it, like is not;
And there I found a MAN, he did not care
If I was ugly, for he was himself
My eyes, he said were pretty, and an elf,
He said, had showed him straight the passage there,
We rowed, and walked, and talked. My joy ran over;
He seemed to like me much, our friendship grew,
And ripened, until suddenly I knew
I loved him, and I thought he likes me more
Than friendship, but he never to me said,
He loved me, for he seemed to realize
That I was not admired in other's eyes
And then one day my heart sank low like lead,
The lady of the place, a worthy dame,
Said, "Dear, do you know such and such a maid?
She said she was coming. She has made
All preparations." And she told me her name.
Perhaps I acted queer that day. He asked,
"What is the matter with you?" I replied,

"I told you of a girl who often tried,
And oft succeeded to make life a task?
She's coming - And she's very beautiful."
"'Tis nothing," said he, "She won't part this pair
Of friends, for you are firmly planted there!
Then pointed to his breast. There was a lull
In conversation; I could feel his eyes
Seek mine; I blushed, and then mine sought the ground;
I turned away. He shrugged, and quickly frowned,
And turned to go. I longed so to be wise!
"My friend," I said, "For friend you are to me,
Why do you go? Come, let us talk awhile,
(I wanted just to see his flashing smile.
And hear his voice, and try to find the key
To love.) And then next day she, charming, came.
"Who is that girl?" he asked, and I replied,
"Come, I will introduce you." And I sighed;
He gladly went. And when I spoke his name
She started. Well, to make the story short,
They walked and talked as we had dome of yore,
He sought her eagerly; my heart was sore,
Our friendship stayed, but yet a tiny part
Of time he spared me, for the most part, no.
I left the day she said to me, "He is mine.
Last night he said he loved me. If inclined,
Perhaps I'll marry him, I do not know.
You love him, do you not? I see you do.
I saw the day I came. I took him then
Because you loved him, and the moment when
He says, 'Wed me,' I'll know he's safe from you."
O was it months or only days or weeks
Of time when here her message promptly came?
"We wed tomorrow, will you come? His name
Dear, did you know? - is famed. He's one that seeks,
Those things, what are they called? in that old spot.
And will you come? I want you to be here."
But I refused, - For he was far too dear
For me to watch him wed her. Even not
To see him was a trial, but I felt
That seeing thus was still greater one.
Since then I've had of letters from them, none,
And so know nothing of him, Still I knelt
In heart to him - But others did not know;
My pride was roused, and heartache hid by pride
Is safely hid; The safest way to hide;
I've tried, but can't forget, and now I go
To my home town, but as I go a tome
Beats in my brain tradition of my town
Which through its ancient history goes down;
"To ugly folks the true love is not known."

Poetry by Rachel A Gold

Copyright 1996-2000

Tuesday, 04-May-2010 14:48:34 EDT