Ordinary

— Pushpa MacFarlane

I’ve been hiding this pain
as if it were sin—a shabby secret
this life I’ve lived—so ordinary,
so every-day. No knights
in shining armor, no glass slippers,
no white magic—except for
household bleach, comet, or ajax.

Our paths crossed. Our lives,
a walk in the park—soft hills,
green domes against puffy white sheep
bleating in blue patchwork cotton—
an interlude before the crescendo.

Now as I pick up shattered glass,
sweep away dirt from muddy soles,
trash memories into black polythene bags
I drag from room to room, I realize
there was, perhaps, some sleight of hand.

An ironic reversal of King Arthur’s feat—
Instead of pulling the legendary sword
straight up from the stone into an arc
and slicing the air, you held the golden hilt

of the electrifying blade high, then thrust it
into the stone—impaling it, breaking it into
a thousand pieces like my ordinary heart—
resounding in a strangled, stony silence.

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