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Mel Harcum Mar 2015
All I can remember is that time in Wal-Mart
when your older sister came to me and asked:
“Is it true that Payton went to the ****** bin?”

I wonder where she heard that lie and how many
more were threaded among Honesdale locals,
weaved into their perceptions of my family--

their shoulders betrayed them when they turned
away as if we were the diseased ones rotting
inside-out--maybe we were, in a way--but at least

swallowing all this salt healed our wounds
faster than your actions would fade from memory.
I punched you the day I found out even as you

scoffed, laughed, you hadn’t ever taken me seriously.
At 17, I had learned not many people would--but
my revenge came after I moved three hours south,

when your father died of cancer, your best friend
crashed your mother’s car, your sister fled
all the way to England to escape the mistakes

eating at her shadow, and I got out of our hellish
town. You became rooted among manure, ***-
holes too deep to outgrow--I’m sure you’re choking

on worms by now. And when I finally reach
the lofty sky, I’ll hold the sun between green hands.
I’ll hide its light and warmth from you.

— The End —