Newly Risen Roads
A poem of lost words*
Radiance Angelina Petro
The city streets turned
the screevers had no sidewalks
to chalk their thorn-crowned saviors,
abby lubbers had nowhere nor anywhen to go,
store fronts shattered and ramshackled,
cafe chairs scattered (strewn) about the marshy road,
this all befounded and cabobbled
the kedge-bellied snogly-g’eared and the flamfoos.
How can this be? They wailed and gnashed
their teeth and beat their chests.
We performed the myomancy and nothing was foretold.
We have done nothing! They shouted,
and cockroaches scuttling sides of crumbling buildings
with nowhere else to go, echoed: Nothing, nothing, nothing.
Each step the people took sank them deeper,
Until the antipodes spoke:
May we ever cease our endless shail-abouting
may the dendranthologists be right,
may we one day neeze through new branches
spying shiny-sky-blue eggs,
may we cut away each other’s elflocks
and brush each other’s hair,
promising to sing forth a new dawn,
promising to tend awake the world,
may we one day be weeping-ripe,
in order that we may go glad-warbling
through newly risen roads.
*Lost word meanings from the book, “The Word Museum,” by Jeffrey Kacirk.
1). wooze: marshy ground
2). screevers: someone who draws figures of thorn-crowned saviors on sidewalks
3). abby lubbers: someone who loiters in a church
4). anywhen: anytime
5). befounded: to perplex or stun
6). cabobbled: to mystify or confuse
7). kedge-bellied: someone who stuffs themselves as full as a keg
8). snogly-g’eared: handsomely dressed
9). flamfoos: a gaudily dressed person
10). myomancy: divination by means of mice
11). antipodes: people living directly on the other side of the earth to us, with their feet directly against ours
12). shail-abouting: to move as if bones were loose in their sockets
13). davering: walking around dazed and aimlessly
14). dendranthologists: people who theorize that humans emerged from trees
15). neeze: to go searching for bird-nests
16). elflocks: knots of hair twisted by elves which cannot be untangled
17). weeping-ripe: ready to weep, ripe for weeping
18). glad-warbling: singing or walking joyfully