Ode to the Letter R from Issue 90
The way it starts rain and opens rose,
as long as I can remember I have loved
that sound. Though love may sound too strong
a word, I am past saving it up.
Our hurting economy needs it now,
just as the river needs its water
to meander and run, to riffle and swirl,
to roil and pool and fall on its way
to rendezvous with the sea.
In the rivers and seas of language
it is just a small boat with a small sail,
but it seems to have traveled everywhere,
rising above the waves and rolling
on the tongues from Spain to India to Tierra del Fuego.
It lives in the Arctic and the Antarctic.
It forages with the bear and prowls with the tiger.
Virgil and Homer, because it lived in them,
gave it a lasting place in the breath of their stories.
Borne on the African diaspora
it rode the tide of rhythm and blues
to the shores of rock and roll. Reborn
over and over in reading and writing,
it has a place in right and wrong.
It is first and last in remember. And
when removed from dearth, what’s left?
As long as there is breath in the breather
I know its worth and am its lover.