All Fools’ Day


This is the day that celebrates All Fools!

On this day half-demented oafs conspire

To snare the sane, unwitting, with a coil

On their credulity. The sober truth

Is torn on this day from her spotless throne

(Unsurely occupied on any day)

And in her place sits grinning mockery,

Who for this sport of jokers has put on

Truth’s vestments for disguise. But when her laugh,

Contrasting oddly with truth’s silent gaze,

Rings loud on embarrassed ears, disguise

Is thrown away, and to discomforture

Sits there revealed the jade for what she is.

This day unstamped love-letters are received

By hungry swains; door bells that have been pulled

By unseen hands bring sleepers out of bed;

Bloodthirsty crimes are wrought in word, if not

In deed; rumours of sickness stalk the earth;

Reports and whispers throng the ‘wildered air;

Until the truth and fiction, interwoven,

Present a texture that defies the sense.

And some are angry when they find themselves

The prey of harmless wit, but others smile and vow

To wait the opportunity that comes

Of swift retaliation. Some relief

Experience in their hearts when to their ears

The cry comes that the news is false, and on

The knell succeeding that the message struck

Discovery chimes sweet music. But to us,

Whose hearts were shattered by to-day’s summons,

Came no discovery of a joker’s prank.

Oh, when the news that we should lose our child

For several days in hospital was known,

What joy to have heard the sender’s “April Fool !”