Her Why-ness

why?
Wh-once there whas a whoman
who tried to understand
Every mysterious wonderment
which fell into her hand.
She started with the obvious,
wondering who? and where?,
then annoyed both friends and family
with her insistent whats? and whens?
Even mere acquaintances wondered where her questions would end.

But this whoman didn’t stop her questshe continued to carry on—
flinging about her question marks until most of her friends were gone.
And still she posed her questions, inquisitive through and through,
until she bumped into the questions nobody ever gets through.
Not even kings and princesses have ever gained much ground
following the promising breadcrumb trail our curious whoman found.

Dissatisfied knowing who? and when?, unquenched by whats? and wheres?,
she innocently stubbed her haughtiest toe when she stepping into wondering why?!
Why?’s no ditch to stumble into, no place to place your nose,
‘cause how you’ll get back out again, nobody—but nobody!—knows.
It’s the question with no answer, certain to cause you shame,
you’ll be fortunate enough if you ever escape, and you’ve only yourself to blame.

Because why? presumes a certain clockwork universe,
where wheels and cogs spin and jog at rank and file pace.
And the world isn’t particularly predictable looking forward down the track
and even less comprehensible over your shoulder looking back.
What’s past won’t share her secrets, no matter how many why?s
a whoman shrieks obliquely into the maw of time.

Why?’s the question with no answer, certain to make a fool
of any whoman foolish enough to complain about this rule.
Go ahead and ask your who?s and where?s, insist upon those what?s and when?s,
for each of these fine questions can produce information.
But why? just seeds excuses, criticisms, blames,
and stories we live better without sullying our good names.

So keep in mind this silly little rhyme
the next time a why? descends.
You can ask for anything else you want,
but why?ing never, ever, E-V-E-R ends.


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