Five sonnets from my (slightly) younger days.
Continued at Five sonnets of erstwhile joy, Five sonnets of contemplation, Five sonnets to the lovely spurner, Five sonnets to the aloof one.


Could it be you admire your comely curves
While in your room you gaze into your mirror?
You know your figure must unravel nerves,
So you value it, to you nothing is dearer;
For hours you primp in timid preparation
Of what might come to greet you for the night,
But having done your hair and put your face on,
No one there admires your enviable sight.
The sight of you... and in the neighborhood
You walk, and garner compliments from all;
They say you bear yourself as all girls should,
You being graceful, featured soft, so tall:
But know you'd never have managed thus to rout me
Had I been born with decent wits about me.


Do you belong forever to your age?
Do you believe that fifty years from now
I can the image of beauty presage
By looking now at you? We must allow
For incidental differences; all told,
However, what they shall think beautiful,
Will it be anything made in your mold?
I doubt it; yours is not an endless role
That will millennia be well preserved
By people who come after you, and stumble
Onto your photograph, and with taken verve,
Depict you for the ages; no, you shall crumble,
And hopefully, your face shall fade away
Some years hence; but today is not the day.


I hope you don't resent my having stayed
Away so painfully long from your abode;
But several days, my plans to visit laid,
I headed toward your house; my footsteps slowed;
Those inches separating me from you,
My feet from your doorstep, the concrete slab;
That distance off stood the door, beckoning me through,
The handle, though, a dagger poised to stab
Whatever entered there that could annoy,
No matter what the intent, good or bad;
What chance stood I, a single harmless boy?
Thus was I wearied; yes, darling, even had
Your house been distant further than a league,
Your heart's remoteness gave me worse fatigue.


My heart tells me: someday she will discard
Her shrewish cloak and show the light of day
Her inner self; no longer cross or hard
Shall her behavior be; and every ray
Of sunlight shall caress her soul and flesh
At seeing her revealed in manner grand.
And he who in her hair his hands enmeshed
Would gladness own, much more than he could stand;
For ever would she comfort him in woe,
And keep him company through all his trials;
In joy too would she soothe him; but I know
Full well the enormity of my denial:
For never could it be that this demeanor
Shall visit her; I doubt it, having seen her.


When you your fell impulses set aside
To show your inner self, let me be there!
That time is not the time to run and hide,
When you live freely in the open air.
So long I've died to know you; thus I prate
That part of your expression is an act;
But you have friends; surely they'd not tolerate
Your fusses if your semblances were fact!
If you open up without me, my heart will break,
For I could not once bear to overlook
What I have sought's emerging; that would take
Fortitude as from me you already took.
If you overnight become a butterfly,
I'll never slumber without asking why.