Maggie Mannell


Photo courtesy of Maggie Mannell


Good Fortune

It was my good fortune to have watched you roll across the schoolyard. I work here but am not allowed to be inside where your feet go. I can only be in the places no one else is allowed to be here – that means in the mud or in my personal vehicle. With all of the doors closed and windows rolled up. I have already driven to places today and the rules say I can’t drive any places more. So I can’t get home and I can’t get out of the car because all the mud is gone. The sun invaded the ground and sucked away one of the places I was allowed to be. They also try to make me wear these hats like the shells of impossible white tortoises. They try very hard to make the tortoises fight amongst each other, encouraging them to break their shiny backs on the backs of their comrades. A snowman rolling across the schoolyard on a warm day in January. The wind struck fierce, the boys can’t read their levels. They are packing up. The children are tumbling out of their wheelchairs into the ribbony arms of their caretakers. Time is stretching beyond its useful space. I’ve been in the truck so long I am beginning to feel in violation of my own labour laws.

You can put your feet on the bed because all the places you have walked are clean, I have to leave my shoes at the door when I go to the house. I can’t look at the people, they’ve sheetrocked my vocal cords to prevent me mauling clean feet and soft hands with searing waves of voice poverty. This is growing up, shooting up tall like a responsible sprout bent under a batchful of springtime bricks, the ones the weeds grow bright green between to make us hopeful. Stomach ulcers, brokedown carotids, mouth decay, bone density zero. I love that color.



Returning hidden decades of words to the places and ones that provided them.


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