Patron Saint of Disappointing Children
Praise to this book, now heavy with scurf,
pages moist with the persistence of must,
your words still breathing, though only just
on the bowed shelves of the house of your birth.
Praise to the dynasty of something and nothing,
the house of which you one day will be head,
for the good things thought but never said,
for the brush you never wound up pushing.
Here’s to the blessing that you did not breed,
nor hold high office. Here’s to the places
you will never go, the rising without a trace
to whatever it is you are. Three cheers indeed.
Praise to what the least of us have learnt;
that what you might have been, you weren’t.