19th c.

Young Ann was a tavern-keeper’s daughter,

her Abe a believer in the Natural laws.

He dreamed of the Illinois Legislature,

while Ann, of her hand to offer.

~

Here, then gone at twenty-two, Miss Rutledge passed of typhus.

Folklore rose of their fated love,

of the depression that near-uprooted young Abe Lincoln,

who never cast adrift, at Concord Cemetery, her soul from dust.

~

20th c.

The French priest Teilhard and American sculptor Lucile,

foredestined from the beginning to agape love,

corresponded for twenty-five long years.

De Chardin and Swan explored what they otherwise concealed.

~

Their ink of friendship, and love—a kind, flowed

of sights and sounds, smells, tastes and feelings—

those of touch—dare imagine forbidden touch, I find certain.

In illuminant ink, their fated love glowed.

~

21st c.

I move furtively in the past, not engaged in the present,

for I take comfort in those dead, whom I deeply know—

those untouchables for years and years, yet still here.

I desire another whom I can’t have—lovelorn.

~

I think of Annabel Lee and souls never dissevered.

I think of The Raven and love nevermore.

Which is it when she is gone, yet still here?

~~

–by S.A. Bort

[above photo from RUMI Facebook page]

For more on the above-mentioned relationships, see:

Walsh, John.  The Shadows Rise:  Abraham Lincoln and the Ann Rutledge Legend.  2008.

Gilbert, Mary and Thomas King.  The Letters of Teilhard de Chardin and Lucile Swan.  2005.

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