Stevie Smith

20 September 1902 – 7 March 1971 / Kingston upon Hull

Tender Only To One

Tender only to one
Tender and true
The petals swing
To my fingering
Is it you, or you, or you?
Tender only to one
I do not know his name
And the friends who fall
To the petals’ call
May think my love to blame.
Tender only to one
This petal holds a clue
The face it shows
But too well knows
Who I am tender to.
Tender only to one,
Last petal’s latest breath
Cries out aloud
From the icy shroud
His name, his name is Death.
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