Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

She writes it with a quill pen, so they say,
On cream-smooth vellum (paper she refuses).
A photo of three granddaughters at play
Sits on her desk to supplement the Muses.

Her subjects? Cats, and apple pies, and toys;
Quilted covers, macramé, and knitting;
A nest of robin’s eggs, the happy noise
Of birthday party games, and sparrows flitting.

And all throughout this theme park of contentment,
This playland of the placid and the cute,
Not one word of corruption or resentment,
Of competition, hatred, or dispute
Or anything that hints a human life
Might know the wolf-howl, or the jagged knife.

—Joseph S. Salemi