And Have I Loved You?

by Conrad Geller 

And have I loved you long enough by now?
A nod, a touch, our portion is all spent,
but that is what the grudging years allow.
 
No one can make an everlasting vow
to love, since only meager time is lent.
So, have I loved you long enough by now?

Experience alone does not endow
strong spirit in a mortal element,
but that is all the grudging years allow.
 
There is no axiom to teach us how
to bear the mystery of slow descent.
Can I have loved you long enough by now?
 
Only the trembling hand, the withered brow
remain to show us where the music went,
but that is all the grudging years allow.
 
In spite of everything, then, let us bow,
begin the dance, defying precedent,
for I have loved you long and long by now,
no matter what the grudging years allow.

from Rattle #43, Spring 2014
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