“…the white rabbit read out these verses:
They told me you had been to her
And mentioned me to him
She gave me a good character
But said I could not swim”.
–Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
People gossip. People chatter. People
Talk. It’s all the same to me where you’ve been
As where ever you’ve been, it wasn’t here.
I suppose there are questions I should ask
And as many reasons for you not to
Address them as there are for you to answer.
It’s up to you what you want to do in
The end—whether you want me to know what
You’ve been doing or not. People prefer
Drama. They told me you had been to her
And maybe you had been. Or maybe you
Never did. Or maybe you were done with
Her a long time ago. Or not. I know
That stories get twisted in the wagging
Tongues of too many tellings, so I don’t
Put too much stock in all the interim
Whisperings. And, even if I did, to
What end? So you did stuff that I wouldn’t,
Got into trouble, went out on a limb
Met the devil and mentioned me to him
As maybe someone who would help you out
Because we all know that she wouldn’t. Not
Her. That is, if she’s the root of why you
Left. Or why you came back. I don’t blame you
For not wanting to elaborate. Life
Is hard enough to live without the burr
Of regret in your head. Don’t say a word
You don’t feel like saying. Anyway, I
Saw her, a while back, she mentioned that you’re
Split up. She gave me a good character
Reference and a bunch of alibis for
You in case you needed them some day.
I don’t need them. I’ll believe whatever
You tell me about where ever you were.
You know that right? You know that it doesn’t
Matter what or where or who it her him
Them they—you don’t need to justify a
Thing. I remember when we were kids and
Set free a bunch of crab pots on a whim
You got picked up but said I could not swim.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 1.
See all items about Juleigh Howard-Hobson