No one should hold that against you.
It’s a means of survival.
Sometimes I thought my best talent was
taking a skinny story, adding wings and a tail.
Dressing it in a woolen Bedouin cloak
with stitching around the edges.
Putting a headdress on it.
Making a better picture.
Your mother got mad at me sometimes
for telling a story differently but it wasn’t a lie,
just a story in different clothes
with other things emphasized.
My own mother dressed up stories for 106 years
till that last winter she rode in her bed
like a boat, sitting up to sleep.
Maybe it’s our duty to be shaped
a hundred times by the same stories.
We think we’re telling them
but really they’re keeping us alive,
memory oxygen breathed out and in.
Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2011
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.