They are slippery, evasive, coy.... They dangle on our tongues, sometimes, yes, at the tip, and sometimes on an edge, not steady enough to bite, not near enough to taste, resting their little feet on molars or eye teeth. Then they vanish, and reappear in a teasing flicker, as if chuckling, snickering.
Once in a while they are gremlins, sneaking unwanted into letters and poems, their only goal to gum up the works, wreak havoc.
But it always seems the ones we deeply crave—the crisp, the clear, the beautiful, those that will plait our thoughts into a seamless chain—dodge into secret crevices in our heads when we call them.
And then it takes four of five or six words to say, all too poorly, what one would have said—the one which won't be found in a thesaurus because even its synonyms have hidden in solidarity.
Those are the words that keep us up at night imagining they've been sucked from their shallow hole into some bottomless eddy.
Those are the words that really bedevil.
Until, by some miracle—spring, mostly, their noses reemerge, unguarded, quivering, curious, and ready to multiply....
Causes Barbara Froman Supports
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Lawyers for the Creative Arts