I know he would never get the meaning
of the word he has been intently looking
like an excavator in ruins
for the meaning of “History”.
Only broken artifacts he discovered.
He glued the pieces to get a form
but only a post-structural Derridean image.
He went in
brought out three dictionaries
piled them on the writing pad of his mind.
He joined scattered words like a bone setter
but never gained the natural.
Meanwhile his brown wife joined him
in the venture that became pathless.
Both were lost in the thick jungle of words.
They rushed to library like accident victims to hospital
poured into book after book
dictionary after dictionary
encyclopedia after encyclopedia.
A futile exercise, indeed!
But somehow the meaning
they were searching for
has eluded me too,
of course “history” itself.
they never got tired like Arctic terns.
And when I neared
they weren’t there.
The dictionary was there
upside down on the table like a ridge tent.