TILL DEATH DO US APART
A John Donne epigram retold
(Written a decade ago, at my wife’s death)
Poison the winds with fingers; say of the seas
‘Soft synonyms of silence’, dare to call
The Poles ‘dear twins’; build infamous ironies
As, ‘Nadir and Zenith are identical’
Sing to the lion, ‘He shall lie with the lamb’;
Inform the meteor of his tortoise gait;
Title Homeric thunder ‘An epigram’
But breathe not LOVE about this whirl of hate
Fifty years of our life together have been, O my wife
For ours was interplanetary conjunction
Neighbors in body, light years apart in our minds
Swift to resume the intercepted function
Of orbits, crossings: O parable of the heart
With the anti-climax and truth of our long life
An unvarnished untruth, nay, a plain lie!
Understand, if you can, after your death
You were all along you, no less
And I was all along just I, no less either.
God bless your lonely soul!
(From my book A VAGRANT MIRROR)