Threads

(for Drew)

The poem I hand you is not this one,
But a litany of forged links, of history
Personal and book-bound, all of this century.
You talespin with fierce pride of 1314.
Threads of blood, spilled and inherited,
Tie you to deeds still vivid of men long dead.
New World means Younger World, a lineage more quickly read,
And I am beyond all doubt New.
My only link to those times and places is you.

Here and now we go on with the things we do.
Our apartment is awash in spiders.
All summer you catch them in bowls, throw them outdoors.
You laugh each time I recoil in horror,
Blame your acts of mercy on me,
Swear you spare their lives for the sake of your softhearted hippie.
I accept that — until I stumble over the story
Of Robert the Bruce, will re-steeled by a spider’s determination,
And you shyly admit it’s why you don’t kill them.
For a moment, there and gone in a blush, I feel the connection —
The one you feel, a piece of the past that the present holds —
And history stirs in a kitchen cabinet behind the bowls.

(2011)

There’s a rhyme scheme to this poem, but it happened almost on its own, and it isn’t any named form I’ve been able to discover.

The poem mentioned in the first line is “Revisionism.”

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