“And now the award for the broadest word
In the English language. The envelope, please.”
Packed audience waits with somewhat bated breath.
Celebrity slits the large envelope, draws out the card,
Scans it quickly, then smiling raises head to share the news:
“And the winner is – relationship.”
Puzzled, the audience sits awhile with that.
Then, one by one – or almost every one – they begin
To personalize it, as: am I – in a – relationship?
If so, with whom or what? I live alone. Does that mean
I am not in a relationship? I do not have a dog or cat
Or trained macaw. I sleep alone. And then
Slowly an answer comes: indeed I am in a relationship;
When I break the word into its smaller parts
I discover I am related to – myself, my selves, the presence
Or absence of God, odor of incense, Dickens who for the most part
I adore. Nature, especially in the modest flowers planted among
The roots of some trees in this bourgeois neighborhood.
And, and – and so many more. I am glad I came to this ceremony.
Hearing the winner makes me think. I no longer feel
Nearly so alone. I smile at some people as we stand up,
Collect our garments, and wait to let another get first into the aisle.
Now I go home to my family of choice. I am no longer an orphan,
Not jealous or envious. Not pressed down by what I thought I lacked.