l’épreuve

 November drapes the lovers like a shroud;
  they long for summer love, so feather light –
  a strip of beach, a seagull, half a cloud –
  but oh the days of autumn are half night.
  So carefree were they up until October
  [although the leaves had shown their colors plain]
  and ‘though they have grown serious and sober
  they both pretend now they enjoy the rain.
  How many months to wait out winter’s lease?
  [She dare not count for fear he’ll hear her sigh.]
  He wishes for a fireplace at least…
  a case or two of cognac, whiskey, rye?
          Let’s watch to see how summer romance goes
          and if it can outlast the freezing snows.

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