This is a lovely poem making you think about your place in time and some of the characters you may find yourself rubbing against.  It might also improve your vocabulary. Read the definitions I added at the bottom.

Then                                Memye Curtis Tucker

Grandmother’s grandmother’s peakcocks in the yard,

a house held up by handmade bricks,

the only rug in Early Country, Georgia—

back then this was wealth.

They didn’t know it was the olden days.

They thought it was Now.

And the Great War didn’t know it was WWI,

and Adam and Eve didn’t feel prelapsarian.

“I’d be married if I’d known the last man asking

would be the last,” said our chorus leader,

Miss Theopian, who made us dress

in white and begin every performance

with a hymn to quiet the audience.

At the flea market down the road, gleaners

are buying other people’s lives. Peacocks

strut on vintage fruit crate labels, anonymous

ancestors judge from their hand-carved frames,

battered red baking powder tins still

hold white spoonfuls wanting to be angel cake,

released into now, into here, where the past begins.

prelapsarian: pre·lap·sar·i·an adj

relating or belonging to the biblical time before Adam and Eve lost their innocence in the Garden of Eden

the·oph·a·ny n the appearance of a god in a visible form to a human being

Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.


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