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Other Verse and Prose:
Romantic verse
You Don't Have To, by Mark Rector copyright 1984
More Spiritual Poetry
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Prose and Writings

Another lyrical verse written for Elaine
(do we detect a trend here?)
This poem was inspired by the performance of an elderly widower at the Colorado Springs piano bar lounge known as "Bogarts."
The grieving gentleman stood up,
asked the piano player to play the old showtune "On the street where she lives"
from the musical My Fair Lady (below),
and proceeded to belt out the best live performance of any type, that I had ever experienced.
(Hhhmmm.... Where had I been hiding all my life?)
The elderly widower's song was inspiring, mostly because it was real.  I felt empathy (which was painful, so I quit going to these places within myself: emotions, aka "feelings").
What was I doing at Bogart's? Listening to septuagenarians I did not know, singing songs I had never heard?
When Elaine first left me, I was not a "bar person" and this was not yet "the Karaoke Generation" (possibly because Karaoke had not yet been invented).
For some reason, I thought that I might "accidentally" run into her at Bogart's.
Although no expert on music: I would guess that piano bars are the direct predecessor of Karaoke (Karaoke Bars are easier - with the robotic musical machines etc. - but they simply are not as good as the original: nothing ever is).
Originally published at:
You don't have to ...

You don't have to say you love
me, just say you'd love to dance.
It's not what you're thinking of
just give yourself a chance.
You don't have to say you'll stay
for all eternity,
Just take a walk, or sit and talk,
some afternoon with me.

You don't have to know if I'm
the only one for you.
You don't have to know the rhyme
to say, just "Yes" will do.
You don't have to know if we
were always meant to be.
Just meet me soon, some afternoon,
and leave your evening free.

Don't commit yourself, not yet, there
is no price to pay.
We won't spend the years together
we'll just spend the day.
You don't have to journey far or cross
a thousand miles.
Just up the street, we'll stop to eat,
and tell each other smiles.

This may be love,
maybe companionship.
If it should grow,
we'll never know
'til we are in Love's grip.
A classic song,
perhaps a comic tune.
If we neglect
to show respect
will love forgive us soon?

Your face won't leave my lovesick mind,
your smile won't let me sleep.
Your hair's a snare, your eyes the kind
that shine from beauty deep.
Through fearful eyes your spirit cries
for love to set you free.
Let down your guard, true love dies hard,
mine springs eternally.

I've heard it said that love is dead,
it was a fragile thing.
But it's not true, my love for you
will make the mountains ring.
Though we may fear, one hope is clear,
to it we both must cling.
That love survives, it will revive,
and with it freedom bring.

Is it too hard?
Is love too great to bear?
You're free to choose, just don't abuse
my only earthly care.
Don't be afraid,
there is no better way
To conquer fear: let down your hair,
and take one step today.
Just saying "Yes" will do.
But then,
you don't have to ...
~Mark A. Rector

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 Clip from the Original Warner Bros. movie, scene: On the Street Where You Live

© 1979 Copyright Mark A. Rector. All Rights Reserved.