A Communication

You deceived me handsomely

With your inconsolable grief at parting.

I really believed in your crocodile tears

And suffered at the exhibition of your suffering;

A little for myself also at the breaking of an old tie,

A habit grown as comfortably pleasant

As the wearing of a friendly dressing-gown.

For we had passed the stage of exhilaration

And reached the solace of a quiet domesticity.

I was prepared to linger over it in retrospect,

Not too unhappily, for had we not agreed a thousand times

That this sundering was merely geographical.

And now a month has passed and not a word have I had from you,

Not so much as a scrawl to say you could not write!

Fate lays innumerable springes for persons of imagination.

Because I wished to believe,

I saw in your Byronic gesture of woe,

Not what it purported to be, certainly,

But something not too different.

You cast a larger shadow than yourself, that I realized.

But even I, who should have known better,

Believed it was your shadow.

I crave your pardon for my blunder.

The mask was well assumed,

I should have been critical enough to understand it was an artistic production.

I congratulate you on the verisimilitude of it,

But I shall not be fooled again, be sure of that.

In future I shall see you as you are:

A plaster figure of a man that's grown a little dusty.

We all have knick-knacks round which once meant something.

It is rather a wrench to take them from their niches,

But life goes on, imperious, and bric-a-brac accumulates.

Still, because I cherished you once, I will not throw you away just yet.

I will put you on an upper shelf in the pantry of my mind,

Among old flower-vases I no longer use, being of a bygone fashion.

It may interest you to know that the place you occupied

Looks a little strange to me without you,

But that, of course, will pass.

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