Friday, January 17, 2014

To Robert, at the Vernal Equinox

Here is a tale. Despite what we were told,
There are a number. This is one. It’s not
The one about the holy fool who saved
Others, if they had golden hair and spoke
Like cello music in a sitting-room.
Nor is it How the Great King Came to Grief
By Trusting to His Strength, though I have heard
That is a tale for little men to tell.
This is the one about true love, made hard
By hands of flint and counselors of pain,
By those who preached renunciation, those
Who’d nothing to renounce, the tallymen.
He loved from here. She heard from there. They sent
Their messages by email or by dove
Or friendly friar: messages mistook,
And blood ensued, and loneliness, and smug
Denunciations from fat senators.
This is that tale. We all know it by heart,
Which tells you why we tell it every day.

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