Stolen Words – Annette Kalandros

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Brave & Reckless

The tinge of sadness in your words

Told me you had stolenthese words

From another to whom you had

Given them then turned and gifted them

To me, and I—I pretended you had

Freshly written such lovely words for me,

Letting the ink of your stolen words

Blanket me, comfort me with something

I needed to feel— if only for a time—

The street huckster wraps her wares

In three day old newspapers to cushion

Them from breakage

And once home, I peeled the molding

Paper off my skin to find it stained

With the cheap ink of your stolen words

Soap, hot water, and good scrubbing

Wore all the stains away.

My skin refreshed and oiled,

I sigh heavily with pitynow

For you mustnot feel

Anything much that is real

Who must constantly steal

And steal away again your now

Cheapened wordsto give to one

And then another and…

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Annette Kalandros

I am a retired teacher, enjoying everything that retirement means. In addition, I have been active in the LGBTQ community since I was four years old and marched my Ken doll with all his little Ken accouterments to the big metal trash can in the yard. Yes, I dumped Ken, along with said accouterments, into the can and slammed the lid on. My two Barbie dolls lived happily ever after.

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