This week, a poem by Caroline M. Mar.

 

When You Someday Read This—

 

I took your story, held it to the light
like a glass I was checking for stains
before putting it, tidy, on the shelf.
Forgive me, if you can—

Naming you what your mother did not
name you. Hiding you in the name
of protection, making your stories
one story. Holding your story

against my mouth for so long,
smudging its glass with my sticky lips.
Breaking its glass in my mouth, your mouth,
our mouths as we chewed

through our stories.
I have taken your mouth.
I listened, not carefully enough, spelled it
exactly wrong. Forgive me everything

you thought you could trust me with.
Forgive me: what I’ve forgotten,
what I wasn’t ready to say, what
I never knew. Inside your opening mouth

is a story, and I’m waiting—
for you to speak it, glass everywhere,
broken and ringing. That old
American sound.

——

CAROLINE M. MAR is a high school Special Educator who lives, writes, and teaches in her hometown of San Francisco. Caroline is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and an alumna of VONA Voices workshop. She is a member of Rabble Collective, a home for women writing from the margins.



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