Two Porcupines at Valentine’s

In forests deep
a snowy heap:
Two porcupines
lie sound asleep

Inside their den
they dream of when
they met –
and cuddle up again

Fred Porcupine
saw Abbeline
one evening in
the dusky shine

She saw him too
and loved the view
of Fred behind
his barbecue

Fred Porcupine
and Abbeline
sleep ‘til the day
of Valentine

At twelve o’clock
their eyes unlock
they start to walk

Just half awake
they leave and take
the wood-path
to the frozen lake

A singing hen
is heard and then
a pan pipe playing
fairy wren

The sky’s aglow
with flakes of snow
they dance together
toe to toe

And better yet:
a string quartet
of dogs play while
their table’s set

Three chipmunks serve
a nice hors d’oeuvre:
dry roasted nuts
from their reserve

A dizzy cow
takes quite a bow
I’ll take your orders now”

“For cork you pine?
For cork and brine?
Be sure with knife
and fork you dine!”

This kind advice
is followed twice
and they go
skating on the ice

They glide and sweep
they soar and leap
at midnight
they go back to sleep

Fred dreams of brine
while Abbeline
dreams of a
baby porcupine

Their dreams entwine
Their thoughts combine
and rise above
the woods of pine

The world revolves
The snow dissolves
A dreamy green
The wood involves

In spring they wake
big eyes they make
the frozen lake

The singing hen
the fairy wren
the cow –
they all come back again

Each memory
appears to be
a vague and distant

Their dreams in turn
seem to return
like memories
in the trees and fern

She looks and winks
He sighs and blinks
each thinking what
the other thinks

They hug and kiss
and reminisce
and walk around
in endless bliss

A lovely rose
in meadows grows
the summer comes
the summer goes

The weeks go by
again they lie
asleep as wintertime
draws nigh

As Abbeline
and Fred recline
so does their
baby porcupine

Beneath the frost
they sleep untossed
There’s something there
that’s never lost

Lennard van Rij, illustration by Anja Brunt