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You That I Loved

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You that I loved all my life long,
you are not the one.
You that I followed, my line or path or way,
that I followed singing, and you
earth and air of the world the way went through,
and you who stood around it so it could be
the way, you forests and cities,
you deer and opossums struck by the lonely hunter
and left decaying, you paralyzed obese ones
who sat on a falling porch in a deep green holler
and observed me, your bald dog barking,
as I stumbled past in a hurry along my line,
you are not the one. But you
are the one, you that I loved all my life long,
you I still love so in my dying mind
I grasp me loving you when we are gone.
You are the one, you path or way or line
that winds beside the house where she and I live on,
still longing though long gone
for the health of all forests and cities,
and one day to visit them,
one day be rich and free enough to go and see
the restricted wonders of the earth.
And you are the one, old ladies fated from birth
to ugliness, obesity and dearth,
who sat beside my path
one day as I flashed by. And you are the one,
all tumble-down shacks in disregarded hills
and animals the car on the road kills
and leaves stinking in the sun.

A. F. Moritz, “You That I Loved,” from Poetry (January 2005). Copyright © 2005 by A. F. Moritz.
Source: Poetry (Poetry Foundation, 2005)

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2005 issue of Poetry magazine

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You That I Loved

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