To Edith. (no. 2)
I lost a love, and I was lost.
After the numbness, the disbelief,
Denial and anger,
I found myself again, or so I thought,
I found another.
But how much is my need?
How much my fantasies – projected on another.
How does the arrogance of “I Love you”
Demand a response?
How much does my need, needing you,
Demand of your gooodwill?
Have I the right to assume
That loving you should be a factor
In your loving me?
To me — Loving is giving.
But can I take?
Unless the taking is a giving – freely given.
Because I love you.
I love YOU!
And I must consider what is best for you.
And I have tried – right from the beginning
To let You decide,
Let you dictate our progress.
And You – so kind-hearted,
So compassionate,
Have led me into Paradise.
Can I believe that you were left standing at the gate,
While I experienced a bliss unknown to me before.
If this is so – I am sorry.
I am sad beyond belief,
That I have taken advantage of your compassion
To use you.
Forgive me my darling
And remember
To me it is your happiness that counts.
If loving you should cause you grief,
I apologize.
I am your friend.

by H. St. Vincent Beechey 1993