An Old Wife’s Tale: A Poem by Haro Lee

Tongue sticking out of mouth
Photo by Richard Jaimes on Unsplash

An Old Wife’s Tale

Do not love you gently still. Struggle, have you
arrested in many thoughts. Everyone hates
hearing of you, of watching smoke dribble
from my trembling mouth. Now
it’s a quiet asylum in my head. You died
again in my bed last night. All those feelings
we passed between us, like a mother delivering
her son to the river among the reeds.
Heaven forbid I am the only one who
still presses air into that child’s lips.
May stupider fairy tales claim me then.
May seafoam take me, to mean just as nothing
as we did. To be human and to love you,
we hacked off each other’s tongues.
And I’ll never speak to you again.
I can never be that young.
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