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I have been memorized by winding dirt
doorways that led me to fantasy. Magical
forest -- it’s funny how simplistic we
name places when we’re children. Overgrown
rhododendrons surrounded me, my hands
plucked leaves off and ripped them mindlessly,
leaving a Hansel and Gretel trail of
torn chlorophyll. So monochrome
without their flowers; my mind painted
perfect, pink orbs onto green. A brown thrasher
flew by, or maybe a hummingbird.
I stared at the light dispersed
sporadically through branches, particles
floating and falling, gentle. Nearby,
I glanced at crocodile rock in the river.
My imagination was good at transforming
the static to life; shapes had more
personality. I tiptoed onto the slippery
surface, stepping on its mouth,
triumphant. Animal planet taught me
that their jaw is only strong when closing
and incredibly weak when opening.
I stood on the beast, and felt safe, strong,
running my fingertips on its bumpy scales.
Now, I see a large rock. I see empty
branches. I still hear birds, but
they’re hidden, my mind unable
to conjure up a flock. I see reality.
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