And What Do Poems Make?

“From where do poets come?”

I was taken aback. Poets made us, brought us into being. It had never occurred to me to ask such a thing. “I don’t know.”

His scornful laugh grated on my soul and made me shiver. Of course I didn’t know, it said.

I narrowed my eyes. My skepticism washed over him to no visible affect. Was he truthful or merely containing his reaction? I couldn’t tell.

What if we could find the source out there amongst the paths only we could tread? I shuddered. Could we make poets? Or worse still, become poets ourselves? This last prospect filled me with dread. It sluiced out to wash against him, bringing a grimace to his face. I smiled inwardly at the small victory.

The answer couldn’t be that prosaic. I drew breath, now that I was ready to answer. “Poets come from nowhere and anywhere. From within the poet-to-be.”

His hiss told me I was right, and that he had answered wrongly when he had been in my position centuries ago. It also meant we would be always at the mercy of the poets.

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