Louise Bogan


As you lay in sleep 
I saw the chart 
Of artery and vein 
Running from your heart, 

Plain as the strength 
Marked upon the leaf 
Along the length, 
Mortal and brief, 

Of your gaunt hand. 
I saw it clear: 
The wiry brand 
Of the life we bear 

Mapped like the great 
Rivers that rise 
Beyond our fate 
And distant from our eyes.