Ways To Organize a World

Over the canned announcements on the train,

she continues to tell me about the birth of Titans,

how Cronus swallowed his own babies, and how

you would think the world began with Zeus,

but he was once a baby, and the world began

instead with Gaea, Mother Earth. I wanted

to tell her that it’s all myth—not just those

ancient stories, but others, too:

the patient turtle that holds us upright,
we people made of clay and rib. So many
ways to organize a world. So many things
to understand, however we can.

Left unfinished is any idea of how
to tell her our myths, too, the ones
I spent Sundays learning, week by week,
craft by craft. Apostles’ boats of Ivory
soap, woven willow twigs signifying
something (baskets, perhaps, for loaves
and fishes?). It’s different when
the myths are still living, still asking
to be believed, when there is
a prickle you can’t deny

before you throw away the Bible tract,
when the church bells sing a song
you still remember.
Someday, I want to give her
these things, too: a giant boat,
a pillar of salt, a god-man-ghost
leaping, unseen but recognized,

welcomed.

 

Contributor’s Notes: Marilyn Caviccia has a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Journalism from Ohio University. She lives in Chicago, where she is an editor at the American Bar Association, as well as a freelance editor and writer. Her poems have appeared in Cider Press ReviewNaugatuck River ReviewThe Sow’s Ear Poetry Review and Alimentum: The Literature of Food. You can follow her at http://marilyncavicchiaeditorpoet.wordpress.com.