Jean Badenhorst

vow

I

 

take me
or leave me here
on this pavement
steaming after rain
leave me
this chaste greeting
your parting gift
leave me
leave me

 

leave me
or take me
into one safe place
your dark sleep
take me
into your unspoken words
your secret sanctuary
take me
take me

 

take me
or leave me here
where I fit, folded
with my corners tucked in
leave me
a book with other books
on a shelf
leave me
leave me

 

II

 

for you
I leave my father’s house
turn the key for the last time
and walk

 

for you
I forsake small rituals
sacraments of a warm kitchen
on dark mornings

 

for you
I fold away soft linen
wrap my silver spoons
for the long journey

 

for you
I nurture new dreams
in the narrow spaces
between your clothes

 

for you
I hide leaves and feathers
among the pages
of your books

 

for you
I find my way
around these strange rooms
towards you

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