Outside a Barnes & Noble—on a night
When more than several things did not seem right—
We were right by the entrance when we heard
That honking sound from that most common bird.
Canada geese were winging overhead—
And practically invisible. I said,
Just pointing out the obvious, “It’s geese!”
And Joyce, adept at keeping spousal peace,
Agreed, eschewing irony and such,
Which do not help relationships too much.
A lesser spouse (like me?) might well have quipped,
“Duh. You think?” But Joyce could not have slipped
In such a way. She does not ever use
Such cruel irony. She knows you lose
More than you gain with such locutions, so
She merely looked aloft and said, “I know.”
I don't believe that I have ever seen
A flight this late. What motives anserine
Propelled them from the pond—or maybe ground—
Where they were probably simply gathered round
And waiting for some goosy Morpheus?
Or maybe they had started to discuss
A Pynchon novel? But they had no book?
So flew to Barnes & Noble for a look?
But saw a couple in the parking lot—
The man looked creepy old, the woman not—
Decided they’d postpone their Pynchon talk,
And filled the night with disappointed squawk.
No matter how much stuff you cumulate,
You can't escape your final, fatal date.
Shakespeare Couplet: Romeo and Juliet
“O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon”—
She’s learning that from love she's not immune. (2.2)