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Spirit of invention

Spirit of invention

By David Cook

What if the boat doesn’t float?

Sinks straight to the bottom?

And I end up with just a wet butt

And everything wasted.

The whole town will laugh.

But at least we saw the blue sky

Felt the sun on our arms and faces

My nose peels when we do that

And things only seem wasted.

Never you mind. The next one will float.

What if the flying machine don’t fly?

Busts itself up in the field?

Maybe that’s how I broke my arm.

Mary Sue fussed over me,

Brought me water.

Nita Lou said “Let’s take you to my granddad;

He’ll know how to set it.”

Cared for me, she did.

“Oh, well, the next one will fly.

I know you’ll figure out how.

Maybe that part that goes around needs

To be fastened on stronger.”

Yeah! I see that it does.

Well, at least we got to see the day,

And the hills all curving and sweeping

Like a fine lady waiting for her lover

Clothed in summer and all her best.

So you keep on living;

You keep from dying by the next thought

Trying: thinking the next idea up close to the roof


Until the day corruption comes

To thrust between my lips

To bring to naught the labor of all my thoughts,

As I lay busy inventing the next life;

The one that will work where this one failed.

She weeps downstairs

But we tasted the strawberries

We tasted the honey and the coconut

We watched the moon rise

And so became a part of us forever

The thing that never dies.

David Cook, a lifelong Episcopalian living in Piedmont North Carolina, has retired from a career as a medical writer, and is now branching out into creative writing.


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