Brown Penny by William Butler Yeats

For A., because we both loved Yeats.

Because he did his laundry on Saturday nights. Because he’s good with children even if he’s afraid to have his own. Because he talked to his mother regularly. Because he wanted to be one of the Village People when he was a boy. Because he loved sashimi. Because he chased the woman of his dreams from country to country, even if that woman isn’t me. Because she said yes.

And because once, years ago, he loved me as I loved him.

Happy birthday.

Brown Penny
William Butler Yeats

I whispered, ‘I am too young,’
And then, ‘I am old enough’;
Wherefore I threw a penny
To find out if I might love.
‘Go and love, go and love, young man,
If the lady be young and fair.’
Ay, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
I am looped in the loops of her hair.

O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
One cannot begin it too soon.



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