I swear to you, it was not my intent
to roam so far. I had not planned to stray
but stay; I would not part
so willingly as that from you, with but a glance
and tip of hat. I cannot frame
more perfectly this vow.

And when I took your hand and made my vow
I thought you’d understand my true intent.
I trapped your image in this frame.
I mean – I meant – to pause myself with you, not stray
in word or deed or even with a glance;
I thought I’d done my part.

I’ve caught you here from hand to crown; the part
scribed in your hair stays still and clean, I vow
while elsewhere wind blows where it will. My glance
has paused on coiffured curls; and still with kind intent
I captured you – no lock shall stray
nor wisp of wind disturb you in this frame.

I used to hold you in my hands; this frame
encircles you the way my arms should do and for my part
I cannot hold you closer. Who will watch you stray?
Who holds you now and with what whispered vow
ensnares your heart? I’d hoped that your intent
was adequate to stay your roving glance.

I cannot bear our separation, dear. Each glance
into the confines of this frame
is agony. It cannot be that your intent
in giving me this gift, was but a game. So when we part,
you said, I’d bind you with my vow.
You’d bind me with your gaze when I might stray.

But here I am, the one who would not stray,
protesting still my love for you. With but a glance
you pierce me, dove, you hold me to my vow.
I’m caught, you’re caught within this frame:
You were the one who would not wait to part.
I could not stay no matter our intent.

There is no purpose here but stray intent.
Each glance reminds me only that we’ll part.
I’d rather raise you in my arms, I vow, than hang this picture frame.