Perhaps their voices still sing through
the branches of December.
Why once they sang I cannot say,
or what was sung remember.
When leaves crowd thick and winds go lame
all April lovers sound the same.
My April pleas they granted in
too flash and slick a fashion—
prayer’s no prayer but loss unless
no answer salts its passion;
flame is not flame that will not burn,
nor is love love that asks return.
If ever love-lorn once I wore
the rig-out of the mourner—
and mainly for Main Street to see—
I smile now in the corner
and do not grieve, not even for
the grief that I can grieve no more.
Upon a time love made time pass
with ribaldry and revel.
Now time has made love pass. No tunes
the heart’s harp-strings dishevel.
Though love’s be out, truth’s lamp gives light:
The moon is round, the snow is white.
© Hal Porter