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APRIL 2005

> RED ROVER | melanie hiler

Just when I chance a moment to sigh in a space
Happily devoid of your lubricous ways,
You come again, besieging my brain with the familiar dread of your face
In the line, ensnaring me with hands clasped tight.

If I am called to the other side, I fancy myself escaping you and I
run. But, like a deluded child, I smash into your swinging,
interlocked arms; You nettle me still, with a spell with which
multiples your features all around me.

The volleys of your enchanted lies echo within my head
And I cannot distinguish your love from your lust until it's far too
late; Until the deserted playground cries, lonely and despondent for
the memory of unrealized days.

I feel bewitched to repeat this same defeat of steps,
Alternating between the torment of never breaking the chain of your hands
Or stumbling through and agonizing that
I'm joining you again on the other side!

I'd have doffed this awful, futile game a long time ago
If I could only invoke Peace to "Come on over."
But instead I fail, merely repeating my own Red Rover,
Where I, like other dotards, return to play
on a cracked blacktop of peeling paint and unrestrained weeds.

> BIOGRAPHY | about the author

Melanie Hiler is a 32-year-old married woman who tries to keep up with world events, works with college students, and wants to get a terrier.