A Word is Not a Home



A Word is Not a Home

A word is not a home
but we set our tables

between its walls,
cook meals, annoy

friends, abuse ourselves.
Sometimes I misplace

one, and can’t find
my house, much less

the window’s desk
or the chair behind it.

But if I wait, something
always takes form in the fog,

an arm, a ribcage, a feathered
hope struggling to emerge.

Inept, I take comfort
in these apparitions,

accept their offerings,
lose myself in mystery,

find shelter there
in the hollowed curves.



15 thoughts on “A Word is Not a Home

  1. Thank you, Robert, for this. Brilliant. Moving. I shall carry this with me (I hope!) as I go, myself, through this latest transfiguration. A last, difficult, and, perhaps, most valuable lesson for someone who has spent a lifetime as a writer. Randall Jarrell wrote, “Words are worlds.” Weirdly, his metaphor works only because it breaks down. Otherwise, it would be trivial, wouldn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Superb catch of writer’s dilemma …
    Sometimes … something better than that eluding shows up, as though I needed to be emptied out to receive it … and later to find the original sought … immediately grateful it had wandered …

    Liked by 1 person

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