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What shall I get you, he asked
not really thinking
as they walked the park path.
And she did not pause---
did not even break stride.
"Bittersweet" she said,
"enough to make a wreath".
And he could have gathered it
right then,
at a cost of only his time,
but instead he explained
why it was such a bad idea,
and quite a bit of trouble,
besides what did she know
of making wreathes?
Then he walked calmly
quite pleased to have laid the matter to rest,
but he did not see her face,
did not read her eyes
and never once did he ask himself
why after all those years
all she could think to ask of him
was a gift of bittersweet.

(c) Lisa Shields 2004

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