In Chaucer's wood, the branches bud with birds.
Song showers fill the air.
Each little heart, no bigger than a corn,
with diminutive lust is stirred
for on this date,
the legends say, each bird
will surely find its mate.
Now windswept parking lots are bare.
Under eaves, small birds cluster,
vociferous in the drug store's neon light.
seem choir to pilgrims come to venerate,
in shrines of scent and powder and paint,
the candy heart of the old red satin saint.
Pub Date: 2/14/97