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Do Ladies Do That?

Chapter Text

Once again a host of miseries threaten to descend,
And I only hold them off by long practice, my bearing
Erect and proper, voice low and civil, despite the cold,
Cloudy day, the vulgar woman, and my fears for Ann.

Behind me, she embraces a struggling Catherine, who is
Younger and less well-versed, fortunately for her,
In suffering. She hurries back inside, barely holding back
Her tears. There will be time enough for tears hereafter,

I think, as I turn and look at Ann. Then my eye is caught
By a small flash of gold upon her breast: the pin I gave her
With the gondolier, symbol of safe passage. Unconsciously,
I reach out and touch it with my thumb, then pull her in

For an embrace of my own. I whisper in her ear, "You'll be
All right. Look after yourself." A moment only. Then
The horses hurry their carriage away north. I stand there,
Praying God will hear my words, soon make them true.