It started as a diversion around your hospital bed,
a game, the sort you made us play as children,
calling each other’s bluff with made-up words,
trying to convince with etymological gymnastics.
Trarglehoop Trärg’l- hööp (n.)
a circle of friends , loved ones,
supporting, holding hands fast
around a candle.
We all believed you, although your mind was fractured
and our names escaped you. For so long
you battled to hold on to broken mugs and broken memories;
shards of both now swept up, tossed away.
And yet as if along forgotten hallways, light shines,
a pulse runs through us.
This piece of writing is featured in PEN’s e-book, “The Dictionary of Made-Up Words”, made in partnership with the European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom. Read the whole book!