by Ed Higgins
The Essence Of Story
“God made man because he loves stories.” --Elie Wiesel
We all tell them
even when our mothers
warned us only the Devil
tells stories and the truth
is best in all situations,
will always protect us
in the end. The end in those days
being usually at the end of her
patience. Still, I began to notice
if you were to be fully loved
a certain amount of storytelling
was absolutely necessary. Like the
time burglars broke into my bedroom
and peed in my bed to my blameless
horror. And apparently peed too in your
pajamas, pointed out my mother.
Yes, I quickly revised my story,
they made me take off my pajamas
to search for hidden gold and jewels
and when they didn't find any
they got angry and also peed on my pj's.
Needless to say, my mother laughed
at this well-crafted story. Which made me forever
see the value of taut revision. Especially
in a story laced with any kind of potential
tragedy. For I then told her they wanted
to kidnap me for ransom but decided
in the end because I was loved so much
this would be a crime for which
they could never be forgiven.
I have since told stories even to the Devil
on occasion, and while actually few have
been accounted as truth by him
he has been so tickled by my honed
inventions he shakes with laughter every time.
All these years later I am still correcting my story.
All rights reserved.
Somehow that ’ol nugget about “the truth is best in all situations” popped to mind—I’m sure my mother dumped such on me as a kid. Even then I knew lying was a better first alternative. Anyway, the poem grew out of something like that. The piece just appeared in the Spr. 2012 Concho River Review, a semi-annual journal published by the Eng. Dept. at Angelo State Univ.