Sonnet XLIII

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more. 


Edna St. Vincent Millay
1892-1950
This sonnet, written in 1923, foreshadows the years the poet would spend up until her death chasing her youth, beauty, and the feverish love and attention that fed her writing. I tried to place the reader in Millay's mind as she aged, struggling to keep writing even as she went to increasingly desperate measures to fill the growing holes in her life.