To the Royal Society of Cryptozoologists From the Concerned Daughter of a Member

by Caitlyn Paxson

My father is a scientist,
A traveler, a connoisseur,
A collector of things long repressed.
In fact my father is obsessed.

He led many expeditions
By dirigible, invisible,
Up above the clouds and rain.
He went to lands no man has claimed.

He spoke of creatures tentacled,
Elder beasts, things that feast
Upon the fragile souls of men.
He said he had to leave again.

Father, father, please come home.
I can shoot and ride and label,
I am quick and strong and able.
I've organized your climbing gear.
But I haven’t heard, I haven't heard,
Not a single written word.

One last voyage, crossed his heart,
Then flew away, went astray.
The year was 1884 --
He said he'd open up a door.

I know his airship headed north,
I know he's lost, I know the frosts
And ice have kept him from his home.
He wouldn't leave me all alone.

Learned sirs, you're my last hope:
Lend me a ship, full equipt,
And I will bring him home again,
And he will tell us where he's been.

Father, father, please come home.
I've learned all the Latin words
For insects, mammals and for birds.
I've cleaned all your microscopes.
But I haven't heard, I haven't heard,
Not a single written word.
Not a single written word.

Caitlyn Paxson earned her degree in writing and folklore from Marlboro College, and has lived in the United States, Canada, France, and Scotland. She currently resides in Ottawa, where she is the artistic director for the Ottawa Storytellers' annual series at the National Arts Centre of Canada. She is also a folk harpist and singer. While she loves many of the sweeter fruits, the avocado will always rule her heart.

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