101 Famous Poems
Edgar Allen Poe
Rainer Maria Rilke
And in 2015 the entirety of A Year With the Fairies by Anna O. Scott!
Today I want to share a poem I wrote, well, many years ago. It is based on one of my first memories.
"In the beginning was the word"
Nancy A. Bekofske
two figures seated at a kitchen table
lost in the glare of unfiltered sunlight.
Shadow players, male and female,
each with lighted cigarettes streaming blue smoke.
White light, white walls, and shadows moving
and talk about grown-up things while
I played, pushing
some wheeled toy across the floor
into my parent's dark bedroom,
into the nursery with its barred bed now forgotten,
down the narrow uncarpeted hallway,
into the slatted venetian-blind light of the living room
the radio standing on the floor playing
"Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White"
or was it "The Poor People of Paris," I've forgotten,
back into the kitchen
where they sat, talking still, pushing papers about,
some business, I suppose, when I heard a name,
a word never before spoken for all I knew,
and I longed to make its magnetic beauty mine:
I stopped my play and mouthed that word
like a sacred prayer recited in private,
savoring it on the tongue, my ears
ringing with pure response,
that one word opening my mind to majestic possibilities.
"What did you say, hon?" Bending down, indulgent,
the man asked, and my mother, embarrassed
urged me to repeat myself, so they could understand.
I knew they would never understand
the magic of that moment, even at, say, three;
I could not utter that word, it would have been
a misuse, like swearing with the Deity's name.
They returned to their conversation, dismissing me,
a child, as having done a child-like thing
of great amusement to the wisdom of age.
Only I knew the worth of the word,
a sound so potent it could stop adult speech
and demand their attention
to listen to a child
who had just learned
the power of a beautiful word.