Let Me Tell You Something

A lot of us are liars,
telling tales long past our days
of being out of school.

We’re the quiet town criers
selling our souls
on every street corner.

You may think you know us,
but every word we say could be truth
or fiction.

Anyone who uses—
anyone who chooses
their words so carefully,
should arouse your suspicion.

And when the muse conspires
with us to summon up
some notions we want to disperse
(be it story, tale, or verse),
we must discern
if we even dare trust her.

Just because you follow
us in our addiction—think
you’ve got us sussed,
(maybe I’m the biggest liar—
or worse, someone else entirely).

Kathleen Mortensen © 2017

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Olalla

Her beauty, like the freshest rose
that hides the worm
at its core.

I thought I could no more
turn from her,
than I’d deny my Lord.

The night cried out
through dusty storm,
to strike me to the core,

for she was not
the one
I should adore.

Her forebears
wore adornments—claimed them
bold and brave,

but it was blood they
took and gave, and

left their children

full of dull innocence,
too sullen in the sun …

I cut my wrist, the glass
ran red;
her mother laid insipid
lips to where it bled,

I might have slipped
under the spell,

but for Olalla,
who cast me off,
to save me from her Hell.

Kat Mortensen©2012