the edge of never

their life began with the cherished words
“I will always”
and time swept them along, transforming them
until eventually they became “I will never”
still full of the promise, but with the
contemplation of the darkness that threatened to close in

then the weight of the world pressed upon them
and they became “I would never”
as if in protest of the very idea

when finally it turned into denial
“I never”
for a while she tried to believe
the words
and hold at bay what lay beyond the never

they went right up to the edge of that darkened precipice,
peering over and seeing what lay in the valley beyond
she turned away
and burned the bridge
so she could never be taken along that path again

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