W is for William
Some men look at the world with open
distrust and with longing. Others
soften their faces with beards.
Youth passes over both like a cloud.
Fashions change, but we remain—
altered versions of our former selves.
I used to think the path would be obvious,
that we would cross over a threshold
and suddenly become
& men, but instead we learn only
the depths of our ignorance.
I don't even know if we threw rice
at your wedding, though I remember
a cake, topped with two candied
owls and that I was late, carrying
the veil to your bride.
Just yesterday you were correcting
my sentences, and the boy—sleeping
upstairs—was only a prayer.
Last night, I referred to The Book
of Good Fortune and learned
this lunar year will be ruled over
by tyrants. Thus we continue
to gather evidence that steadily
echoes our trespasses.
The only things I have learned
with certainty are the words
for my errors and to try
to stand even, even when
discord turns underfoot.
Each dawn is a strange
murmuration of starlings,
inexplicable as the force
and the virtue of will.
Copyright 2017 | Pet Murmur