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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