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Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Problem with History Books


Now that my upcoming verse novel is firmly in the hands of my publisher, I've turned to my newest WIP. I actually started this piece months ago and though I'm quite excited about it, I've  discovered that research has its limits. 


THE PROBLEM WITH HISTORY BOOKS

The problem
with history books
is too many 
numbers
and not enough 
names,
though even names
tell so little

like 

did he read books,
and if so,
what was his favorite?

did he like to sing?
did he whistle?

when he shaved,
did soft humming
sounds
mingle
with the scent
of citrus and wood?

or was his stubble
a scant wisp,
a single gossamer 
thread
scarcely visible
but to him.

I wonder, then,
what was
his mother's name?

and when the rumble
in the distance 
grew closer,
and the trembling
in the trenches
grew louder,

did he think of her?

or was there 
a secret sweetheart
whose name
he'd never whisper
in the dark?

stacks of history books
don't say;
even favorited websites 
are silent.

Research has its limits.

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