By George Kalogeris
Somewhere Auden says that as a child
His ear was attracted to the intricate, lovely,
Polysyllabic music of obscure words,
And that he treasured the OED, and how,
Engrossed in the vast, mysterious roots of language,
It meant he wasn’t out playing with his friends.
And isn’t this quest, he wonders, the earliest sign
Of a budding poet? That’s when I hear the voice
Of one who never read a word of Auden,
Or ever turned a page of the OED,
But she would expand upon the master poet’s
Definition by telling her funny story
Of how, after the very first day of school,
And holding up a fork in one of my fists,
And a spoon in the other, I asked her point blank why:
“This one you call a spoon, and that one pirúni.”
O immigrant lexicon! It tells me the curvy
Prongs of a fork are even more pronounced
In the Greek: pirúni. And now it sings the oval
Sheen of the moon I always heard in spoon.
Copyright © 2021 by George Kalogeris.