All my maidenhood is wilting flowers,

unbidden bed of wounds that never heal,

the chasing and lay-wasting of my powers.

Each endless age ebbs on. I ever kneel

and feel the thorn against my toiling thumb,

a fresh red-soiling, and an old reminder.

How worldly I am, how wise, how numb,

my kindness harder as my heart grows kinder –

but come into my garden, you,

and pick a flower, and plant another two,

and please think nothing of it when you do.

-Alistair "Hale" Sauterne