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Nineteenth century

I had no words for what I did;
born with a light shining
in me, I knew, even as a child,
I was to help everyone
in the village;

their well-being was my work.
Snow everywhere, always cold,
those are my memories, as I walked
from one home to another,
wherever illness called me.

I was small, too slight
for the fire in me, a candle
burning much too fast. Thin
and always thinner,
I never bore a child.
My husband, big and brown
as a bear, expected me one day;
I never came. He found me
—only time for a kiss.

The light in me so great,
my body was warm for days;
I looked like I was sleeping.
Everyone wept.