The Portrait

- jan-u-wine
‘Tis many a year since I’ve seen the lad.

Many a year,
Winter’s harsh hand opening to Spring,

Spring nodding tender acceptance
of Summer,

Summer finding its heated path to Harvest-fall.

Harvest-fall:

Fields near burnt by swift-dying Sun,
rich burden of green-gold crop

flayed
beneath Her heavy gaze;

bonfires,

high-clouded nights,
lit day-bright by  full-weighted moon.

Dancing and drinking,
tithing -

wiving……

In the midst of all,
‘tween crop and capers,

fierce Sun and lemon-eyed Moon,

a
birthday.

Mine.

His.

Ours.

Happenstance.

Mere happenstance,  
I suppose,

my heart
caught

by a forthright gaze
pressed within an oval frame.

(happenstance, I am sure,
that it should arrive in the Post
from the Great Hall upon the very morning
of

our birthday)

It is as if we stand within the same room.

Clever eyes look back to mine,

clever and curious
and not a little sad.

I shouldn’t wonder at that,
of course,

nor at the mouth which determinedly
does not

quite
smile.

There are words there, I deem,
words of humour,

questioning words,
answering words,

words of bright gold,
words of moonlit
silver.  

My constant lad.

Spirited, he is,
bold as his midnight pony

and twice as eager.  

Lively and industrious,
resolute,

keen.

Why, all of those.

Brittle, too,

brittle and like to break
beneath the weal of too-long held sorrow.

None know better than I this sorrow,

none know better the sad folly with counts
grief as wisdom within a shadow’d heart.

I know him, this lad,

understand
the ways he has that others count as
strange.

It is no happenstance,

no mistake,
the words which spill from pen to parchment.

He shall come and live beneath the Hill with me.

Next year, and every harvest-tide thereafter,
we shall celebrate our birthdays (comfortably)

together.

I touch the face of the portrait,
and wonder

at
happy
happenstance.