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Imitated Traits: To Friends and Family Members (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: I’ve learned a great deal from friends and family, and that makes its way into my works.]

I hope             it will be all right

          as a writer

    to borrow a few traits from you

           or perhaps not so much borrow

                   . . . as imitate

Such as        to give a kind old squirrel

     the inclination to bake fudge brownies

           and paint happy faces on top

                    with caramel

                       . . . just like an aunt

                                 I know so well

Or perhaps         to compose a mischievous fay who

      smirks when amused

           in the same way

                  . . . as a certain young man who

                             has my dearest affections

Or maybe even        to have a wise enchantress

        offer a young heroine some heart-to-heart advice

              much like

                      . . . several good friends I have known

                                      over the years

All these things . . .

    taken silently        from those

          I have met . . .

                . . . throughout my life

Forgive me

  because I do more than weave these traits

      into my characters to help them breathe

             and live a little better on the page . . .

           . . . in fact

                   I bestow on them mementos

                        to help me remember you—

                               my friends and family

           Just a few imitated traits

                        to keep you close

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