Posted by Admin on 6 July 2008, 12:00 am

For fifteen years since walking down the aisle
to Lohengrin’s triumphant sound, we two
have known the rapture of an undimmed love,
have seen a score of couples break their vows
while ours remained inviolate; and now well-blest
with health and youth have cause to envy none.

For fifteen years the gods have smiled upon
our conjunct lives, and claimed no recompense –
a factor it were folly to forget,
for, being mortal, in due course we too
shall have to pay – the question being “When?”

How many years, my wife, will be vouchsafed
for us to live life to the full, content,
rejoicing in the vigour of our love?

How long before you notice with distaste
my bloated paunch, while grease-stained clothes
betray those advancing years,
insidious in their approach, have brought
the palsied hand?

Will you with fading sight perceive, unmoved,
repulsive senile traits, the once firm mouth
then flaccid with the slobbering incontinence
of age?

On this point reassured, I might endure
foreknowledge of your own decline,
connoting, as it must, the boring repetition
of an oft-told tale, a lack of physical
control equivalent to mine.

I might with resignation then await
that final testing time when life is near
its end, all passion’s fire extinct,
and only mutual tolerance can hide
repugnance at our unfastidious ways.

But, now, a hymeneal toast to what
has been and is!
Let’s drink it in champagne!

A variation of “From Michael, On Active Service”, added 29th June 2008.

T. C. Hudson

© T. C. Hudson.

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