Saturday, December 27, 2014

Of Faded Fronds

How faded is thy garment, love
Thy brow is white as snow
And tattered is that virgin glove
We donned a year ago

How paper-thin is thy embrace
We weighted with our fears
How weary is thy patient face
Scarred with kisses and tears

How lovely and how terrible
The life-stains that we pressed
Without thought, unalterable
Against thy patient breast

And where we, giddy with new dreams
Hailed thy arrival, dear
Soon we fell prey to ancient schemes
And mistreated you, Year

What once was raw and real and keen
With best intention crowned
Are faded fronds of what-has-been
Like shadows on the ground

Now, near the threshold where farewell
And greeting coalesce
Ah, we are love-torn by a swell
Of joy-grief tenderness

Yet still, the Gate of parting looms
At midnight’s sev’ring gong
The New Year waiting with its blooms
Compels us to be strong

© Janet Martin

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