Peter Porter

Image by Richard H Smith

A Chagall Postcard

Is this the nature of all truth,
The blazing cock, the bride aloof,
The E-string cutting like a tooth,
The night that crows?

The cock has seen the standing grain,
The bride is shrouded by her train,
The violin is strung with pain.
A cold wind blows.

From earth to sky the cry ascends,
What breaks will threaten where it mends,
Proud lovers end as pallid friends,
These feed on those.

from Collected Poems Vol 2, 1984-1999 (Oxford University Press, 1999), copyright © Peter Porter 1999, used by permission of the author