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To my children

If I have seemed to you to be aloof As though in search of other hearts to love The rain that falls on anybody's roof The leaf that drifts from anywhere above It isn't that I search - it's that I swell To rush and fall against uncertain shores To sift each thought wherever thoughts compel A need to go beyond unopened doors Command Performances, I would not ask What is a gift that is in duty sent: Infertile seed A stone An empty flask A thousand gainless years, unwisely spent But rather be a bush upon the hill That struggles in the cold December snow To live! To live! that weather cannot kill Though icy north winds bend it to and fro For in its summer days, two roses bloom With petals soft and fragrant on the air The colors warm and true from nature's loom The melodies of birdsong everywhere But roses, too, must go their separate ways As windward with the robin and the wren While bushes dream, in snow, of sunny days When they will rock their roses once again

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