January Eyes

You did not know I watched you then,
That time you smiled without disguise,
And saw the sudden sunlight dance
Within your January eyes.

Your carven features, finely made,
Grew nobler still, more keen and fair;
Your inner light shone clear beneath
The silver shadows of your hair.

But all too soon the clouds returned
And drew across the wintry skies,
And once again I look upon
The man with January eyes.

You see me as an enemy;
It’s hard, I fear, to be your friend,
For neither of us will concede,
And neither of us will pretend.

I think, perhaps, there is respect –
We know the rules, we tell no lies –
But when I offer friendship’s hand,
I meet your January eyes.

Yet there is something that attracts,
Beyond our differences and fears:
And can you play the clarinet?
And do you know the power of tears?

Shake hands across the battle lines:
I do not ask for compromise,
But that our souls transcend the fight
In sunlit January eyes.

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