The Couples

Jean Valentine

 
 

One night they all
found themselves alone,
their first force gone.
No law.

Vacations were no vacation,
nothing came in the mail,
and so on. Everyone
wanted to be good,

no one alive remembered them.

Out of decency no one spoke.
By the time day broke
even the babies were bored with them,
with hunger, and falling;

even you, Prince, gray
in the mouth and tired of calling,
tired of briars, tired of them,
had ridden away.
 

 

From The Yale Review, Spring 1967.

Image: “Damaged slide 1” by fleabo, licensed under CC BY 2.0.