Barbarians

Barbarians

Suddenly you’re up before the sun.

Your morning filled with loud cartoons and apple slices.

Your refrigerator covered in magnets.  Art projects about Abraham Lincoln.

Blue scribbles that he insists are dolphins.

Throughout the house are artifacts.

The flask that got you through comparative religion your sophomore year.

A walking stick that took you from the bottom of Great Britain to the top of Scotland.

An empty wine bottle you drank that one time at that one place.

A pile of your wife’s high-heeled boots that haven’t seen the light of day for how long?

Everything now given a slash of crayon, a spill of milk, a banana sticker.

Everything now.

The land is overrun by a barbarian hoard.

And you’ll tell stories of the way things used to be.  And the way things used to be will only get

better and better as they get farther and farther away.  The barbarian hordes that topple your

youthful constructs, they bring a gift.

Myth.

With your world gone you can now paint it as it always was supposed to be.

You can take out all the times you were miserable.

All the times you looked out the window hoping it was a particular car.

All the times you wished for the good times to end.

You’ll make all the people more beautiful.

All the dangers more dangerous.

Even throw in a lie or two.

Why not?

It’s yours now.  All of it.  To twist and shape into a heroic tale.

It’s yours now.

It’s a gift.

–Joe Fisher

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