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I wrote this poem many years ago with my great-aunt Amelia Hine in mind.  See her story on "Left on the Shelf".


Once you came and offered me a
Chance to share a long migration
Into unknown shoals of passion,
Crags of psychic integration.

I declined, afraid to walk on
Untried paths, sail unmapped seas;
So you left, in search of someone
Filled with less ambiguities.

Body yet untouched by love, my
Heart is still unmarred by fate.
Was this safer?  Was it better?
Can it matter?  It's too late.

Yet my nights, in every dream, I
See past that door I elected;
House unbuilt, a child unborn, the
Joy unfelt, the pain rejected...

Can I really feel the sunshine
If I've never felt the rain?
Can I truly love the mountains
If I've never seen the plain?

Could the highs and lows be worth it
Or the contrasts so sublime?
If I find the courage, I say
Let me dare to love next time.

Bess W. Metcalf
Copyright 1966 

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