There once lived a young boy named Poem,
who didn’t quite know how to rhyme,
who fancied the fields and the flowers,
his mom felt he’d sing of in time.
Young Poem liked rowing and painting,
and took well to Latin and Greek,
Yet, for all that he grew,
both in mind and in shoe,
his songs didn’t know how to speak.
Young Poem was gifted in every such field,
but writing and words-on-the-spot,
which made folks think Poem had problems
and couldn’t quite hammer a thought.
Both mother and father and brother,
lamented the loss of his voice,
as if somehow his fate was imbued in a name
and Poem was making a choice.
They took axes to boats and the canvas.
They took matches and keys to his books.
As if somehow, his tears would birth progress,
they steadied his eyes on the brooks.
With a grim sort of pleasure, all waited to hear
the song that would rise from his pain.
Yet, dear Poem, with nothing to pleasure his sense,
could not so much mutter a strain.
His twin sister Della, reached out on her own,
when Poem craved petals and reeds
to offer her brother a light in the dark,
by tending to loss with his needs.
She repaired what was burned just by being.
She was there with an ear and a word.
And simply by loving a lemming,
dear Poem had felt he was heard.
He gazed up from the brooks and sang ‘beauty’.
He saw geese and did name one ‘Delight’,
which made all who had cast him in darkness that day
assume that their methods were right.
The remarkable twist to his story, is that those who had wished he’d find song,
forgot on their quest to push progress, had stunted his voice all along.
For it happened, the family was tone-deaf, as were those who glassed-over his notes,
and did not hear the song Della heard from the start, when symphonies sprang from his boats.
Image by Annie Spratt