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Origin Of A Lullaby


Don't be discouraged by the prosaic origins of poems.

Let the circus come to town. Write it all out. The bearded flashbacks. The two-headed incriminations.

Let the stories set up their Big Top. Let the barkers carney the rubes.

Behind the trailers a giraffe is giving birth.

Far from the roots of doors—their hands relaxed claws—the trapeze family is snoring in harmony. What did you think the poem was? Join them.

If you are lucky—when you wake up—this tent city will be a field again. The circus will have pulled up and rolled away. Your childhood will have joined it.

The newborn giraffe is in your arms. The ungainly—squirmy—actual—creature.

By singing to it help it stand for the first time like an unfolding ruler.

In a memory of the creaking of ropes is the origin of a lullaby.

Try again—devoid of guile or hoopla.



Phil Hall's works copyright © to the author.


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