Brief Engagement

The lady smiled as she said to me,
"Come, we must be married.
This is the morn of our wedding day,
Please, we must be going."
"I'm very sorry, ma'am," I said, "Look,
I'm not the man you think."
"Oh? No, wait," she said, "I know it's you—
Please, we have to hurry."

Fast she took my hand and tugged and pulled,
Up off the couch I came.
I looked about for help, but those who
I had just been beside,
They all looked on with fright and wonder,
No one stood to help me.
So I did the only thing I could;
I followed her at once.

Down the hall she led me, then stopped, smiled,
She leaned close to kiss me,
But I pulled back (I did not know her).
The lady was displeased—
Told me so in words I can't repeat.
I almost ran away,
But I stayed to find out why 'twas me
That was, she thought, her man.

"We've been planning this for months," she said,
Don't tell me you've forgot!"
At once I wondered if I was wrong,
If I was truly hers,
If in fact to her I was betroth'd.
Nearly was I convinced,
But no past proposal came to mind.
I'm sure she was mistook.

Quiet said I to her, "Look, my dear,
I mean you no offense.
But I am not who you think I am."
She spoke quite softly now:
"To you I had pledged myself for life,
Now I am forsaken."
Slowly she walked away, sad, sullen,
Dejected, feeling lost.

She sat down at the table, arms crossed,
And down she lay her head.
Then I could hear her faintly sobbing.
The nurses saw her then.
One rose, bringing something in her hand,
Gave it to the lady.
"Here, take these, my dear," she softly said,
Then took her to her room.

(2010)

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