As children in the schoolroom game
whisper from one end of the class to the other
and garble the message they pass on or change it
beyond recognition, so we
pass on the truth of our kind.
My father heard it from his, something
vaguely involving God, and his father
heard it from his, and so on back
to Abraham, and so father
passed it on to me, but God had dropped out.
And so my son heard it, a wisdom
found inside a Chinese fortune cookie:
“Be good and hope,” which he will pass on
to his son, but maybe with good
missing or hope, maybe with love added.
Though love was never meant to mean so much.