I walked a lifetime where you led,
Trod in the space your shoulders cleared,
A silent shade behind your light.
I walked a lifetime in your wake,
The flat black shadow of your back,
While you walked, sun upon your face.
At first I walked content to be
Demure, a modest dove, you said,
‘A woman has only her looks,’ they said.
And walking with a man like you,
Who said I was a pretty thing,
Made me blush with foolish pride.
I walked a lifetime, eyes upon
Your neck that changed to thick and red,
I knew it better than your face.
When my looks fled from lack of love,
You walked with sullen heavy tread
And only turned to stamp your foot.
Now I lag with slower steps
To watch the changing cloudy sky
And listen to the blackbirds sing.
I walked a lifetime not my own
Behind that angry roll of flesh,
Slumped and gasping now you turn,
Your hand outstretched, your rolling eye,
I walk on by.