There were springs when the trees could not bear the weight of their own blossoms, and bicycle trips into the country-side, and songs we sang late into the summer nights while firefly torches flickered. We ate raisins and almonds, not only at festivals, but often, and our aunts, in their black dresses, doted over us, slipping gelt into our pockets when they thought we did not notice. I took the prize in essays in my last year at the lyceum; papa was beaming. I had a kitten, and on rainy afternoons she curled in my lap as I sat by the window reading, and the soft sound of her purring harmonized with the patter on the sill. Oh, there was so much of life to be had, and so much there, still, untasted, that to lose one minute to sorrow seemed a sin! If only we could know, when we are living, what a gift we hold -- This is what I tried to say, what I wanted with every ounce of being to tell you, sir, as you stood there, pale and staring, not wanting to see and not able --not daring-- to look away, so I stopped in front of you, holding my hands over my naked breasts, catching your stricken eyes, with only minutes left, I knew, to live, and, oh, so much to say, but all my lips could utter was my age: "Twenty-three". And, for all that could be said, it would do.
W. Luther Jett