by Florence Ripley Mastin
Night fell one year ago, like this.
He had been writing steadily.
Among these dusky walls of books,
How bright he looked, intense as flame!
Suddenly he paused,
The firelight in his hair,
And said, “The time has come to go.”
I took his hand;
We watched the logs burn out;
The apple boughs fingered the window;
Down the cool, spring night
A slim, white moon leaned to the hill.
To-night the trees are budded white,
And the same pale moon slips through the dusk.
O little buds, tap-tapping on the pane,
O white moon,
I wonder if he sleeps in woods
Where there are leaves?
Or if he lies in some black trench,
His hands, his kind hands, kindling flame that kills?
Or if, or if …
He is here now, to bid me last good-night?
It is as if the person who left and the person left behind exist together in one dream night where they enjoy their last moments at the same time as existing apart.
The narrator remembers events but they don't sound quite real. They imagine where their lost love has gone, and if he is lost forever in death, or at least changed forever by what he has had to do in the war.