by Theodora Goss
Over time, he said, as you get used to me,
I will become less interesting. And he smiled,
as though he had said something important,
provided some insight into the operations of the world,
when all he had done was forge himself an invisible
suit of armor, so someday he could remind me —
remember, I told you you would get tired
of me in time, remember I warned you
you would eventually find me as predictable
as a book you’ve already read, or last year’s fashions.
I did not know how to tell him that, certainly,
over time I would start to find him as tiresome
as birds returning each spring, or as clouds
that gather and disperse, always the same yet different,
or as water drops forming streams, rivers, oceans,
or the leaves on a sugar maple — all similar, each exquisitely itself,
or the proverbial snowflakes, not one in a winter alike.
He would have thought I was being melodramatic,
making promises I could not keep, human nature
being what it is. So instead I told him
he was underestimating me, and left it at that,
trusting time to show which one of us was right.
Meanwhile, dusk fell, as it always does, and the moon
rose, as it has for centuries over this city,
shining faithfully on the rows of apartment houses,
the park with its wrought iron benches,
its pond on which two swans were sleeping, heads curled
under their wings, its linden trees
releasing, once again, their scent into the darkness.
(The image is Bonchurch, Isle of Wight by John Atkinson Grimshaw.)