Thursday, December 18, 2014

The growth of nemesis

You can grow nemesis, like flowers
water hate and foster the rest under your skin
enough irritants can make you a professional
in the scheme of detest

I never developed the desire of hate
but like humans, existing
I fell into the trap of developing
a nemesis

my teacher, the dark haired woman stopping at the taps
of my kindergarten joy was the victim-
I sought running water and running sands
mixed them to make a sea in a sandbox
and I made a sandstorm around my flat-ironed uniform each day
and when Miss B washed off the whirlwind
I planted the first seed

as I walked alone, away from the sandbox
to my house, the roads widened and filled with other children
packed at the gates, there awaited a  boy who glared at my red apple,
the same one that kept the doctor at bay
as I embarked on the first bite, Robin Hood had the apple
 with his arrows  and for him the roots started to spread

When I arrived home, my sister had taken my doll
into her mouth, half of its hair spread on the floor
clothes cut up like confetti, what I owned- my child shredded
my sister wore a smile the size of a tennis-ball
as she pointed at my loss, I didn't talk,
I  howled and  inside sprung  a stem and a few green leaves
the budding stretched when I stemmed higher

When I brushed hair off my moth eaten, acne face
a few years down the road, I still saw my nemesis
eye to eye, her tin smile, yellow and twice my size
shrunk as my pimples grew and by then
my tree was tall, proud and held out
branches, birds careful nests making a possibility of new breeds
 squirrels hiding the last chestnuts of frigid weather and even rabbits
burrowing off what falls to earth from above

I happened to catch my reflection, on a walk near the river last Monday
it was a normal Monday-  one where you realize a week had gone
the job you mostly detested, worked your nerves but your reflection
greeted you, like a polite neighboor
and as I peered into the water, I saw the top of my tree
the nemesis would not budge
how did the enemy become
much like me?

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