They knew culture and cowboys,
pizza and Paris, taciturn deer hunters,
and voluble librarians.
Theirs was basic fare: nursery rhymes,
quiet forests, images of renowned
beauty, predictable and familiar.
What they missed was poetry—
rhapsodic, epic, true, life-saving
—replete with nutrient-dense language,
packaged in yellowed pages
and flaking paperback covers, with
the lethal heft of a Norton anthology.
As their youth subsided, they persisted,
choosing only each other, embracing
the silence, forsaking the gilded,
sirenic allure of the tawdry
and the social. For years,
under a deluge of outside influences,
it seemed they hardly talked at all,
and ceased to expect the unexpected.
Until that Tuesday morning, bright
and crisp as green apples, when they
awoke to find their own
long-cherished myth had begun
to transform the mundane.
All around them, fountains flowed,
and forests chimed like bells.
Barely breathing, they allowed
themselves to open the cover,
allowed the book to fall open, but
it was only when they sank with relief
into the everlasting depths
of those transparent pages,
that even the taciturn deer hunters
began to speak in verse.
(c) 2019, by Hannah Six