by Michael Keeling

Febuary never quite gets there;
it’s a makeweight
for the oddness of time.
Two or three days short
of its peers.

(Is the r silent?
Or are we very correct
and say F-e-b-r-u-a-r-y?
I think I say Febyewry.
How about yew?)

It’s the month of love;
of Thomas Hardy and Bathsheba;
the tragedy of jest;
the anonymous desire
of a lover’s quest.

“Be my Valentine
O lover sweet,
For thou hast cast a spell,
Don’t wait until the Ides of March
Without you life is hell”.

Heaven knows
Anything goes !

Yes – that’s February,
the month of loving,
when every four years
the maiden
drops her seventh veil
thereby hangs a tail.


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