A drawing from her youth hangs on her door,
Of clouds and sky, pastel, drawn sure and straight.
No flaw was in those skies: those clouds, no weight.

Outside is nature's drawing, much less sure:
No silver lining do those clouds reveal,
But omens, floods, all-dominating dark.
"But why," she asks, "is truth so drear and stark?"

I say to her: "That's how we know it's real."

In mine, her hand is rough, its knuckles scarred.
"Me too," she says; "my features are too hard
To be a dream." On photos now she dwells,
Of her -- young, marble woman vivified;
No more.

              "Not so." My dreams her face excels;
I kiss her brow and carry her outside.

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