Poem: Story


by Anne McCrady

There is no home to hold a story.
Each one is a rambler, a rover,
a raconteur chasing the moon.
Up with the sun for its next trek,
it is grateful for what is left over
from late night carousing:
a hard biscuit, a cold square
of cornbread, a wedge of cheese.
On the way out the door,
it throws a memory over its shoulder
with a smile that makes us cry.
Dressed in borrowed clothes,
it is a master of disguises,
some days dressed in sacred tales,
others barefoot in daydreams
or wearing a soldier’s fatigues.
At the market, it makes every man
a friend with its admissions of guilt,
its honesty to a fault, its found wisdom.
Ever sure strangers share its woes,
it tells and retells universal truths.
In love with life, it is the perfect date,
not least of all the light
that pulls its soul mates
like moths to flame.
Answering to nicknames we assign—
scripture, fiction, history, lore—
it hides in sermons, journals, letters home.
Road-hardened. Happy to meet
every ruinous rock in the road,
another lesson to add to its wealth,
it is the bearer of sweet treats
and melancholy food for thought.
Gathered round a fire of hard times,
it softens, no longer a rogue.
as it reminisces in city pubs
or whispers in hospital rooms
or spins yarns from a porch swing.
Now as at our final end,
it is a son, come home at last,
or a daughter, ever devoted,
who sits a spell to talk
and promises to stay as long
as we have an ear to listen
to one more story.


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