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MANSFIELD, Katherine

To L. H. B. (1894-1915)

Last night for the first time since you were dead

I walked with you, my brother, in a dream.

We were at home again beside the stream

Fringed with tall berry bushes, white and red.

“Don't touch them: they are poisonous,” I said.

But your hand hovered, and I saw a beam

Of strange, bright laughter flying round your head

And as you stooped I saw the berries gleam.

“Don't you remember? We called them Dead Man's Bread!”

I woke and heard the wind moan and the roar

Of the dark water tumbling on the shore.

Where -- where is the path of my dream for my eager feet?

By the remembered stream my brother stands

Waiting for me with berries in his hands...

“These are my body. Sister, take and eat.”