So sore, ywis, that whan I on him thinke,
Nat woot I wel wher that I flete or sinke.
During the Middle Ages, people thought
that Valentine’s, or thereabouts, would mark
the date when birds paired off, each lark to lark,
each life-pair-bonded waterfowl not
quite sure their spouse would like the card they’ve bought;
should they’ve considered jewelery? trips? The spark
of a single season’s mating faded to the dark
mornings in winter; they woke together, fought
for the first shower and who would walk the dog,
who would make the bed and do the dishes
from the dinner that they’d thrown the night before,
while all the years became a catalog
of various compromises; yet one wishes
for this forever. The swans are never bored.