Sunday, January 13, 2013

Postmark: 2 Star, Left

She walks into the bookstore
And she's carrying her box
Filled to the cardboard rim
With pages and pages of treasures
How many hours are contained
How many tears have stained
These pages are all her friends
Her life measured in chapter titles
Her love given to imaginary heroes
Her heart given to fictional women and men
All her hours spent in her room far away
Her nights open to a thousand thousand dreams
Where she found the treasures
Wielded the ancient swords
Sailed through the starless night
And was the person she wanted to be
That person is not who she is now
Holding her box so tightly 
Her knuckles turning white
That person would not be here
Would not give up so easily
But she never was that hero
And she steps forward in the queue
Waiting for her turn with the man at the desk
Waiting to give her loves away
To grow up and become a grownup
Betraying sacred vows she had made
When she'd watched Wendy sow back on his shadow
But pirates and fairies are not real 
She's learned this painful lesson now
And she steps forward in the queue
It's not that she needs the money that badly
She does of course but there are other ways
It was what he had said 
That penultimate fight broke it
And the words that seemed too well rehearsed
Washed over her and took away part of her soul
Part of that child in her memory with the books
Maybe with time and perseverance she could
Once more find herself in that world
But she doesn't have the time anymore
Maybe that is really what growing up is about
Running out of time to remember how to imagine
And she steps forward in the queue
And she's standing in front of the bored man
He asks her to remove the books 
And doesn't even look at them as she sets them out
Delicately almost reverently tracing titles
He takes them one by one and frowns
Places them into a pile
One by one shaking his head 
Finally stopping at one and shrugging
It forms a different pile
And she feels sick to her stomach
At this division of the sheep and goats
And then it's over
And he hands back to her the box
Almost as full as she'd handed it to him
And she's awash with the feeling
Of a second chance 
And somehow of failure
A failure to fail
The only option left, to fly
She takes her $2.43 
And remembers to thank the bored man
And carries her childhood ideas and dreams
Of how the world and love should work
Carries them back out into the rain
With the box clutched close to her heart
And imagines once more
She's headed the right direction
To reach to the second star to the right

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