The Cure

Give it hemlock, just a sip!
  Our sick relationship
  is ripe for mercy killing.
    But she's unwilling.
Glad lovers turn to sad detesters,
  and every old wound festers.
  Kill it; no salve can salve it.
    But she won't have it.
Our love that used to frisk, cavort,
  wheezes on life support.
  For Heaven's sake, unscrew it!
    But she won't do it.
Friendship, she says, requires work;
  yet since I'm such a jerk,
  she'll leave and make things better.
    But I won't let her.

Throughout a long life, Richard Moore has won through to the belief that the only real reward in the arts of writing is the writing itself. The first of his nineteen books was published and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize when he was 44. The books that followed have brought the total to a novel, a book of literary essays, translations of a Greek tragedy and a Roman comedy, and fifteen books of poetry. These include a sequence of fifty-eight Petrarchan sonnets, an epic of American history, and an epic in trimeter couplets whose hero is a mouse born and raised in a sewer.