With the grain

I will never be like you

I said

And you smirked

“Whatever you say”, you said

As you turned away

And then brought the iron bar down

Again, and again, and again

For years.

Now I fit. Now, I look straight ahead.

I am wiser now

That’s what you tell me.

Sometimes, though

When I pass that tree

I trail my fingers over the smooth bark.

I feel the initials.


And another’s

And I catch my breath.

And I despair.

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