You’ve lived here for time out of mind, between u and w,
given of yourself, yet been grievously overlooked
toward the back of the line, fifth-to-last, always
in twenty-second place.
Without you, no love, no forgiveness, no reverie.
No vertigo, velvet, voodoo. Verses, violins, viticulture.
No need for vaccinations, because –
no viruses or variants.
You give us adventure, the dove with the olive branch,
improvement, vulnerability, revolution.
You are not to be trifled with, not to be confused with u,
who lacks vitality and never makes a good point.
You bring vision to the houses of vocabulary.
You rev your engine, defy gravity, savor.
Y craves revenge, yearns to vandalize you,
but x always stands in the way.
Y helps you make very – but what a vacant word.
You’re versatile enough to thrive without
y’s vertical stem, needless of a leg to stand on.
You forgive your place in the family of letters, admit
you’d be a vagrant without them: a mark on the page,
a crocodile’s mouth revolved one-quarter turn,
an upside-down A with something missing; Roman numeral;
algebraic symbol turned sideways; raven in flight,
its wings poised for a down-beat; inverted volcano.
But on a team? The MVP, heavyweight division boxer
with a vicious hook, alphabetical underdog who brings
the crowd to its feet, shouting Bravo! over and over.