I once used to know what all schoolchildren learn,
but I’ve distrusted her for years. Her simple yarn.
In dreams alike I was polite, afraid to ask to be
excused. Those stories piling in a corner unused.
The kind of thing that happens in the hills outside of town.
The kind of thing that doesn’t even make the local news.
My mother on a ridge out West: her arm swept the horizon,
offering her daughter everything the eye could see.
Yes, it will happen to you, the army of bargain and dole
that is one’s youth. I once used to be fabulous, a fable
we tell ourselves, tell the inmates of our psyche. Truth:
today I am the angel on my shoulder and the devil both.
Tonight I am a haunted wood. Tomorrow I’ll be better,
perhaps – or not. But without doubt I shall be other.

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