Ode to Across and Down
Ari and Ira,
Ali and Uma,
Iman and Enya and Ava and Ono;
Ivan and Igor,
Isak and Ibsen,
Alec and Alda and Arlo and Yoko.
Urey, hydrogen’s discov’rer;
Orr of hockey and Ott of baseball;
and Otis, too, of elevators.
Melville’s Oloo and Oklahoma’s Ada,
Thin Man’s Nora and its Asta,
Shakespeare’s Iago, sherpa’s yeti,
shade-loving hosta, and late-blooming aster.
Ural and Alps, dear mountain ranges,
Romans’ Nero and Brontë’s Eyre;
Scarlett’s Tara and Shakespeare’s Avon,
poets’ morn and e’en and e’er and ne’er.
Obi and olla, olio, ogee,
saki, soir, and tsar;
eerie and eyrie, ulna and être,
ogre, oater, and gooey agar.
Pro bono, pro rata, or quid pro quo;
eel and ego, yin and yam,
abbé, agua, and amie;
euro and peso and lira and rand.
Epée and ague,
and of course jai alai;
île and iter,
oreos and ryes.
Été and está,
erat and amo—
Rebecca Lartigue surprises herself with how many things she can get done when avoiding more unpleasant tasks on her to-do list. She teaches literature and lives in western Massachusetts with her husband and dog. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in First-Class Lit, Storylandia, and The Massachusetts Review.