Family of Words


Prose slides into a midnight suit, polished by the moon,
And feeds his shoes his feet, and feeds his gloves his hands,
His clothes gobble him up and pull him down,
Into the gullet of memory.
That wide arc of quips and images, heat and lies,
Here Prose is a master; he is the weaver of reminiscence,
In his secret cave, dank and dark, redolent of all things past,
Prose enchants the masses. Some nod in agreement,
"Here is our master," they sing, they grieve,
"Here is our muted prophet, our soundless savior,"
And Prose fills them with knowledge and hope,
Wrapping the globe in dotted lines to mark his fated passage,
Dirt and dust and travel, and still his suit is black as black.
But (and what a but) Prose is not alone,
His father was an abstraction; his mother is a ghost,
His uncle cannot be translated, but his sister.
He calls her Poetry.
She is vital as the sunrise, wise as a noble king,
Angry as a starving mouse, witless as a bowl of leaves,
Quick as lust she'll tear it up: your hand, your heart, your mind
Forever searching for love, and always loving the search,
She touches feelings, feels the touch of us,
Of Prose and his black suit, of me, of them, of all, of you,
She touches close to heart and home,
And far and farther still. She has access to that central secret,
Her brother knows not where.

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