lying to the young is wrong

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Maxada Mandala

rodolpho amoedo 1887 the narrative of philetas

I taught them…each…to nose wriggle
like a rabbit…to imagine a bee sitting
at their nose tip about to sting…perhaps
unless they quickly wiggled it away…and
that there are no guarantees in real life
that they would not be hurt…I told them

I taught them…each… to close observe
the curve of listeners’ lips for secret
disbelief…disdain…the doubting shown
when lips are closed and corners flicked
down even for an instant…I told them

and then I wrote gesnorenplartz upon a screen
and told them that it meant smashed peas
and then I watched…and so did they…each other
and then they mostly knowing smiled

and then we began our reading of his tragedy…
how…what happened when…Montague and Capulet
and Friar and Nurse and Escalus of Verona lied
oh, when they lied…to their young

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Rodolpho Amoedo, 1887

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