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  • Writer's pictureKayley Taylor

Lullaby

A lullaby is a simple rhyme, right? Mere words criss-cross applesauce on the page. A smattering of perceived decibels splayed across this checkerboard of only black and white. The gray area adults play in is a figment of the imagination that stretches the lines too wide in the storybooks of childhood. Years pass by, time distorts our senses into mechanisms of selfish pursuits and we lose focus on how the story begins. Little old ladies who live in shoes become the woman down the street who works two jobs, dresses herself and her children in the same three outfits all week, and prays for the last penny in her pocket to be heads up. Good luck weighs heavy as she watches helpless at the bottom dollar sinking. The ugly duckling becomes a teenager who raises her eyes to stare at a reflection she no longer recognizes. Caught in the tangled web between a child and a woman, the mirror fogs over as she draws her name in fanciful wisps of steam. And she learns to look at herself from the soul out. Tears fall in droplets matching the beads slipping free from the edges of her name as she cries out against the sting of innocence lost. No longer a familiar lullaby, only the threadbare reality of what all those storybooks truly held inside. The wonder is stolen away, like a thief in the night, it is a breath and you blink. Gone is the magic you felt in your youth. When did it leave? You find yourself retracing your own footsteps through memories turned upside down as they tumbled through rabbit holes life tucked into the trunks of ten thousand family trees. Bittersweet, yet nonsense is the missing piece. A symphony of midnight echoes pleads for one more heartbeat. One final sweet lullaby...

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