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The handkerchief with his scent

is tucked away safely

from the forces of time and wear.

Who am I kidding?

Just as the scent shall inevitably fade

so shall our friendship ever remain.

As I watch him ride, horseback,

across seemingly endless plains,

his face - not the landscape -

is what my hands recreate with paint.

What am I hoping for?

Just as the eyes I paint

will never truly seek mine,

so shall my dreams disappear with time.

Unchaperoned, I stand alone and amused

that he danced with all the girls but me

yet I still hoped, even in mourning black,

that his gaze might wander to where I stood.

What am I still holding on to?

Just as this season will end,

so will my chest hopefully lose its flutter

at the sight of the gleaming gold on his finger.

Finally, bespectacled and quite grey,

I watch as the journal too filled with him

disappears in the long under-fed flames.

The old book is but a small sacrifice

for the children I shelter tonight.

Though ruffians and juveniles my company may be,

it is their three words that give me restful sleep.

Already, my eyes start to see what I nearly missed.

As I turn in for the night, my heart finds healing

in faint "thank you"s and "goodnight"s.

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