The Ballad of Things

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by David Seigel Bernstein


In the beginning there isn’t light—only a thought. 

It floats in my mind, but it isn’t mine.

Over time, it grows from solo to choir.

And I learn the song of my people.



Rising from the chorus

comes dolce refrain

coaxing me into the light.



From primal crescendo,

measure for measure

I dig, bite, and slice my way out.



I feel my mother’s pride.

She is my guide.

I know it is the way of things.



Then for the first time, I hear sound, not thought.

It is a shriek. It is cacophony.

It is the noise of things.



I fall to the earth, enclosed in warm fluid.

A soft dying voice tells me I have done well.

I am a good son.



I see light. Moonlight.

I bare my fangs and howl for the first time.

It is the way I sing of things.


BIO: To support his writing addiction and excessively extravagant lifestyle, David Siegel Bernstein consults as a forensic statistician. He has been published in numerous print, podcast, and online magazines. He also serves on the board of directors for the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, he leads the Words-in-Progress writers group, and his monthly article Science for Fiction (S4F) is a featured column in Abandoned Towers Magazine.