Allegory (al’-le-go-ry): A sustained metaphor continued through whole sentences or even through a whole discourse.

The marrow was juicy. It dripped down my chin. Bones are hard on the outside, soft on the inside. I am a bone. My outer visage is hard and smooth. Inside I am soft and gooey like a custard pie. I am smooth and solid. Yet I can be broken by the burden of time, an accident or rough treatment. I can be cracked too by a lesser degree of stress, maybe falling for a promise or being tripped up by a lie.

My marrow is a life source—producing the liquid of life that nurtures my entire being. Through a network of warm rivers and streams it pulses through the rest of me, feeding me oxygen, feeding me being, and life. It swims through me unimpeded. If it is dammed by fate I may die: the death clot becomes more likely with every passing year—every passing year of self-indulgent dinners of roasted red meat and luscious pastries and cream.

But I am a bone. I am a pillar. I am a column. I am the Parthenon. I am the Lincoln Memorial. I am the British Museum. I am the New York Public Library. I am supportive, compassionate, and kind. I will stand firm. I support what’s good.

But alas.

Actually, I am an empty pickup truck with four flat tires, a blown head gasket and an expired inspection sticker. I could never be a bone. I should probably be junked or donated to NPR as a tax deduction.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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