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.

One of the first few poems I’ve read and memorized.

When You Are Old
William Butler Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.