When I left I was a footnote in a thousand stories;
Perfectly crafted literary tomes in green and white wrapping,
With black bindings, and authors’ names in red.

When I arrived, I became my own story;
Chapters of me unfolding on an old, rust-traced typewriter called depression–
Paragraphs perfectly indented through disappointment, and betrayal;

I forged a character who at once had her own voice,
And the voices of many.
She spoke in her own tone,
Discovering there was a bit of strength hidden
beneath those mountains,
And that there was such a thing as plot,
Hidden between the books another Author had penned for her.

And in writing her, as she read those books,
I became adept in dissertations on self-loathing,
Leaning uncomfortably against hot ink, until it almost burnt my skin–
For I was an expert doctor already,
In the subject of my studies:

So I wrote my own biography,
Carefully including you, and her, and them,
In the wrinkled pages of my bibliography.
Then, I ripped out the index that led me back
to pages five, and six, and thirteen, where I’d
Highlighted everything, but the grainy pictures I still
quiz myself on when the world feels too good.

Now, I’m no longer a story locked ‘twixt meaningless citations, and the dictionary no longer defines me
As merely the seeded sins of a few others;
I’ve earned myself a place on the shelf,
Because every good writer learns in time,
That even the most secondary of characters,
Is more than a temporary foil.
They learn with age, and clear ink,
That a simile is not quite the same as a metaphor,
The hare has a story, although the tortoise is the tale,
And their friends told that story, ‘though
You don’t hear much ’bout their tails.

I am volumes in Anger, with an encyclopaedic collection in Defense,
But there is a stock over there in Love,
And a catalogue on “How Not To Lose Your Smile”;
The only footnotes I will be assigned to,
Are the ones that say, “Don’t stop here, there’s an excellent
story, behind that story.” or “Check Volume XXI, where she shows you this was only a minor lesson.”

Kadeen Nichelle Oksana Waldron
Friday, June 26, 2015. 05:20-06:36 hrs.

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