Mack Richard
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Why Was Beauty Not Afraid

Poem of Truth

His wiry hair stands straight out

like he was licked by lightning.


His claws part his paw hair

like the beak of a chicken through the feathers

searching for something to strike.


He has never touched me with them.



His great massive body

like oxen live in his chest and back.


His movements are slow

like his muscles need convincing to obey

waiting to react unless necessary.


He has never harmed me with them.





I make small movements

to sip my soup.

It reaches its steam arm up to caress my face

and tickle my nose.


Are you afraid?

I look up, not quite sure I believe

HE just spoke to me.

His gaze steady; Sorry. I was just curious.




My father loved me, but only for what I could do for him.

He loved his time alone and experiments more.


Gaston loved me, but only for the body I exist in.

He loved showing off and his own voice more.


The librarian loved me, but only for the self-importance, I brought as his only visitor.

He loved his books and superior knowledge more.


The village people loved me, but only for the entertainment judging me provided.

They loved their perfect lives more.



No.

Now I’ve surprised him.


You don’t abandon and use me like my father did.

You don’t leave bruises from tight grips or belittle me like Gaston did.

You don’t talk down to me like the librarian did.

You don’t criticize me like the village people did.


I have nothing better to return to.


My father would disappear for days at a time,

I’d be all alone.


Gaston would grab my arms too tight and try to claim me,

I’d be scared to run into him.


The librarian would tell me what to do or think,

I’d dread the end of a book; it meant returning to him.


The village people would make comments of my life,

I’d have to block out their voices with all my efforts.



I’m not scared.

Plates of meat and potatoes are brought to the table to replace empty bowls of soup.

I like it here.

Cakes replace bones and skins.

Good.

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Why Was Beauty Not Afraid
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