She waits there motionless. The cyclamen in her hand learns from her the beauty that's beyond the point of hurt . . . Urgent but not too late a robin flies across the sliding year . . . To be waiting is to know that the last yellow leaf on the aspen is saying yes. To be loves is always to be waited for. The year is luminous. Coming through the hours at last he'll stand marooned with his words to watch her silences sweeten them both. All nearness is far like the tawny voice of the plover persisting along these withered shores . . . She lives without demand, without distress. In her, denial means no bruised reed broken, no smoking flax snuffed out. Breathing the seasons now she feels her love reject death, link the late leaf to waiting like the heart's affirmative. Everywhere woman's forgivenesses redeem the year. Governments falter; beneath the collapse of days each winter month becomes a prayer whose secrecies subdue, regenerate, whose answering is always yes. Shadows show you how December wins. Shadows that were once tears lengthening slowly down the thought are dearly caught and shaped to kindnesses. New hope is sculptured by her smiling here . . . The year ends, the year begins. "Daddy" -- muffled, expectant now, the call of children out of the soft assuring dark -- "How long will Mummy be?" To be loved is always to be waited for. He doesn't remember when the front door opened. Powder ed snow flies in. They hold each other gently in the hall.

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