Poetry

What They Know

What They Know

I have to write myself into greatness.
How does one do that? Which of me
Shall I choose to be? Depends on what face
I want them to see. Perhaps the serious me,
Or the learned me, or the me that no one
But me can see. Figure that out later.
What accomplishments should they know of?
Perhaps the ones of my intellect or the ones
For others, (what ones for others) or the ones
For her (they can't know about her). Tell them
What I can and they will think I think
Of no one but me. Let them see who
I can be (who I actually am) and they
Will assume me unworthy. Later.
Later I will name my character and deeds. Now,
What shall they know of my past? What struggles?
What sins? What indignities? What impurities?
Should they know about the ones that have been
Betrayed? Maybe I will tell them about the ones
Who have betrayed me. The more they know,
The less they will believe in me. The less they know,
The more I will cease to be.


Originally published in Palabras 1.0, Spring 2005

Melynda Crouch

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