If at the end of
a long enough life you find
that there are still stories
you’d rather not tell yourself,
that would be the time
to sit down with your choice
of writing tools and put them
into someone else’s
The storyteller you create
might look like you or not.
Might sound like you
or not. Might have every detail
perfectly recorded for playback,
might not. But the gist of
what you’ve never said
should come through and
it had damn well better be
true, true enough
that when you listen
to the telling you can say
in utter peace
that you’re free of those tales and
you can feel something charitable for them
now that they’re loosed from prison.
Their new freedom adorns them
the way a cape laid upon
the shoulders of a hero endows them
with a certain energy.
Listen: there’s so much
that gets left over in each life,
so much that goes to waste.
Do you really want to be a party to that,
to hold inside
what has stunted you and deformed you
until you pass on and it escapes,
snarling, into the dark to grow
into something beyond all our worst fears?
Let them out.
Prepare to die empty.
Give those rotten fables a voice,
see who they might save.
If nothing else you might find room
for better tales within
before you go.