Bio Note: I am a retired community newspaper journalist living in the mountains of Virginia with my husband and two border collies. I’ve been published in, among others, the North Carolina Literary Review, on literary websites such as Streetlight.org and The Ekphrastic Reveiew, and won several awards from the Poetry Society of Virginia. Though I am well past retirement age, I am a relatively young poet, having just begun about eight years ago.
I’m no student of Latin but I am sure that, buried deep in the tombs of that dead tongue, are heretofore unknown classifications of words that make onomatopoeia shut its vowelly mouth to jingle, boom and clang no more. Consider, for instance, those which contain the seeds of what they actually mean, like benign, which sprouted its own curling, silent tumor, the g, for no medically etymological reason — or aggressive, which attacks with double-barrel consonants proving that Mr. G is not really harmless at all. Then there are words that look like what they are, a visual category, if you will: parallel or (Avert your eyes!) boob. Even church. I was told as a child that the word is what it is: u.r. in church. See the steeples on either end? I lie in bed at night and think of these things, linguistic lullabies, misdirections from words I want to forget: Cancer. Death. War. I search for dreams in darkness, escape into the melody of language. Anaphora, anaphora, anaphora. Amen.
Originally published in North Carolina Literary Review 2019
©2021 Priscilla Melchior
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