The Parting

Forgive me, shy one, for I share with you
Your curse, your silence, and your greatest fear:
That every glance, each word that you pursue
Will be unwanted, and, in all, appear
A foolish gesture, or will give offense.
Indeed, do I regret that it may seem
That I would not befriend you, given the chance,
But such I am that only in a dream
May I disarm my cowardice and speak
With confidence to strangers who are near.
Confusion stirs my mind and I am weak;
And so I flee into my private drear,
Into regret's forlorn and bitter stew.
Forgive me, lady, for I grieve with you.

George Chadderdon © 1995