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Sonnet 43a


After Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me list the ways.
A simple task to start, you would have thought,
so my index began at number nought
which read, “I love thee for thy joyful song.”
That sheet of paper would not last long -
the reasons raced out from my fervent brain
and reams were filled, I scribbled through pain
as the thought of you kept my heart ablaze.
A pattern I spotted in what I had penned
as I stopped for a break to reflect -
to this infinite list I could always append!
My initial goal I had to reject:
the ways in which I love thee, I contend,
do not the natural numbers thus inject.

© Rich Lawrence 2018-2021