In Words We Trust
by Marcus Goodyear
No one has slain the jabberwock. He’s here.
old and shuffling toward us, a worn silk tie
loose at his neck where hands could not
cinch it tight. On his finger is smooth gold,
a ring from the marriage that ended centuries
ago when a suitable helper was found
to redeem the monster. Despite the poem
he settled down, domesticated, bought
a suit coat, ironed pants and shirts before
big events in the community. He volunteered
time and money, selling rides on his back
every year at the Salvation Army auction.
A small stroke behind his right eye
makes it difficult for him to read now,
but he still enjoys working crosswords
if someone will speak the questions aloud.
At lunch, he prefers salads, his love
for meat always a poetic exaggeration,
and he loves to recite aloud to anyone
who will listen, savoring the taste of words
in his mouth that he knows carry meaning
if someone would bother to print them out
and bind them and sell them and buy them.
Marcus Goodyear is senior editor at TheHighCalling.org (sponsored by Foundations for Laity Renewal) and Christianity Today’s FaithintheWorkplace.com. His poetry has been published in Geez Magazine, 32 Poems, and Stonework Journal.