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Promise Me

Please promise me you’ll never promise me.
No crueler master can there be than hope.
It lingers and invites seductively
my desperate hand upon it’s safety rope.

Too many times I’ve grasped a tempting line
and fallen, holding hemp that’s torn and frayed,
recovered to a footing truly mine,
and gathered up my strength, while there I stayed.

Year after year I stubbornly ascend,
clasping each jagged crag with fingers torn.
It’s on my dogged will that I depend,
no longer on men’s pledges, sweetly sworn.

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