Family History

Abigail Chabitnoy

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Only the beginning is true.

 

There was an island

and an orphanage

and a boy.

 

There was a train and a country

to cross.

 

There was just a boy.

They took his words from him.

 

There was just a boy

and they took from him his words

so he could not speak with others

so he could not know there were others

so he was just a boy

 

 

 

 

We know there was a boy

 

alone.

 

Can I say these things if I am not that boy?

 

I don't know that boy

 

—that is—

 

 

I never spoke to that boy?

 

We must take our ears

seriously.  

Abigail Chabitnoy, “Family History” from How to Dress a Fish. Copyright © 2018 by Abigail Chabitnoy. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
 
Source: How to Dress a Fish (Wesleyan University Press, 2018)