There was that very special book
left to me by my mother.
One hundred and twelve years old
and a quilted cover,
Fields and Poe,
and an inscription on the inside cover leaf
by a woman no-one I know
had ever met.
She had given it to her love
on the occasion of his birthday.
Twenty one he was
and, if I am to believe what is written within,
quite the handsome lad.
She draws his attention to page forty-one,
and a poem by Tennyson about a flower
plucked and examined
during a walk,
ephemeral beauty destroyed by too close a love,
too vulgar a desire
too mean a possession.