Look It Up

Open your books to page 137.

One hundred and thirty seven.

You see that?

Second column, almost exactly half way down.

handy. Adjective.

hang. Verb, intransitive.

hang-up. Noun.


Hang up your coat. Verb?

I suppose Merriam-Webster can’t have all the answers.


Keep going:

hang. Verb.

hang-up. Noun. (add verb)

haphazard. Adjective, adverb.

Something feels missing.


A question mark

At the space between hang-up

and haphazard.

Truly an unstable difficulty.

What could go between?







There is no word in the English language

that starts with “hann,”

And the only words that contain those letters

involve the word “channel.”

Change the channel.

Verb, article, noun.

But what about names?

Do names go in the dictionary?



Hannah. Proper noun.

Who is Hannah?


Hannah sits between hang-up

and haphazard.

Hitting every tree branch on the way down

only to hook the sweater on the final arm

like clumsy bat or possum clinging desperately

and gazing at the earth below.

How many ants would have suffered

had I hit the ground?

Haphazard Hannah happens

to have hung high on the expectation branch

and has hung up her hat

and climbed off her high horse

for humility.


Further down, still page 137.

Wait before you get to happy.

First, hapless happens.

How is it that the thin skin of eyelids

have such an ache?

Happy tears have no such tension;

they do not leave salted lids scraping dryly

against hallowed desert eyes.

Lashes brush away clouds of misfortune,

and typed words fade away to reveal



Hannah will be happy.


I remember the top of the tree

and the fall.

I have haphazard happiness

that collects in puddles to push me forward.

I am used to hang ups

and hapless happenings,

and I hope the highest mountain

is yet to be crested.

I am half way,

a work-in-progress,

an exploration, and a human.

I am Hannah.

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