by Elizabeth R. Fallon

Ancestry was unalterable and intractable.
One was born into what they became
And a person’s life was interleaved with sadness and joy.
Sometimes one was fortunate and just came across life’s joyfulness,
while other times one was inauspicious and was subjected to only life’s misery.
It was common knowledge,
like how,
when the escalator broke down at the shopping mall or airport,
it evolved into a staircase with a banister;
and in war melodramas anticipating spouses hovered on landings,
hurrying downstairs only upon noticing a black car pulling into their driveways;
and how the hummingbird was also a moth;
and that a pendulum swayed;
and how the best films were inevitably remade;
or damp matchsticks wouldn’t light;
while life happened chronologically,
dreams occurred in reverse;
and in yesteryears,
swains composed sonnets using inkpots and quills;
and the delta wasn’t the brightest star;
in southern France,
northeasterly gales were mistrals;
and new readers to a dictionary relied on phonetic spellings;
and, among intimate friends,
atonement couldn’t fully negate one’s mistake;
and a mother insisted to her husband it was probable for their small child to pass their little finger
through a large eyebolt’s opening,
so keep them away from it;
people couldn’t die from swallowing an unpitted olive,
but if they chewed it first then they could expire;
and one could murder with a paring knife;
artists are often under appreciated until their deaths;
and a probate was sometimes mandatory to verify a will;
when a motorcar’s tires met with the ground,
the road didn’t move;
a person tamped a tobacco pipe before smoking.