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Walls by Robert van Vliet


A locked garden but
with no walls And
carrying that grudge for
thirty years until you

have forgotten his name
and even his trespasses
But you still savor
the almond tang of

walking the schoolbus aisle
eyeing the driver’s eyes
and charging up the
sprint in your heels

which will carry you
four decades before you
realize your old fear
is your old strength

And you begin to
pity the bullies who
prepare only for victory
Who have no radar

for the lurking thug
No tingle on the
nape like a tongue
touched to a 9-volt

No harsh whisper Run
It’s a trap The
poor fools swagger right
into the rotor blades

And you are free
And they are forever
trapped by the locked
gate with no walls

by Robert van Vliet

Twitter: @_robertvanvliet

Editor’s Note: The fractured line breaks and punctuation in this poem reveal how trauma lingers even when the heart has moved on.


One response to “Walls by Robert van Vliet”

  1. Dave Williams Avatar

    The use of “with no walls” again at the end locks this one in, and until then there are numerous shocking 9-volt touches.

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