By Katherine Mansfield
We started speaking,
Looked at each other, then turned away.
The tears kept rising to my eyes.
But I could not weep.
I wanted to take your hand
But my hand trembled.
You kept counting the days
Before we should meet again.
But both of us felt in our hearts
That we parted for ever and ever.
The ticking of the little clock filled the quiet room.
“Listen,” I said. “It is so loud,
Like a horse galloping on a lonely road,
As loud as a horse galloping past in the night.”
You shut me up in your arms.
But the sound of the clock stifled our hearts’ beating.
You said, “I cannot go: all that is living of me
Is here for ever and ever.”
Then you went.
The world changed. The sound of the clock grew fainter,
Dwindled away, became a minute thing.
I whispered in the darkness. “If it stops, I shall die.”