Rune Dance

by Margo McManus


It shouldn’t sign my
Death warrant
Every morning if
I write poems all over my
Instead of your
Promised sigils,
Although you say it does.
I ask
“Who cares?” because
I don’t
But you, Mama ‐
You care and it always matters.
Believing won’t make anything safer.
“Prioritize”, you say
Because this flimsy script
Can’t possibly hold up
The woman’s sky
Like an appealing handkerchief
A skirt of the right length,
Even if you want
The same tumbled curls
I was
Born with.
“Slowly now,” and the blade of
Your kitchen
Is still dull from
Carefully painting the counter in
Chicken blood
For lunch.
You clean to keep them as
Discreet as expected,
Though you know
That’s just how they hold their
Even so, you can’t conceal everything,
Especially since
The pots and
Pans are
Lined up just the way you
Taught me.
Don’t think I haven’t caught why:
It’s clear you can
Reach for the
Heaviest one
In a flash,
The cookie racks too.
Every sharp point you own
Faces outwards but it’s always
Do as I say,
Follow my lead,”
Pretend you’re only armed with
Breasts and
Butter blades in public.
The waiter eyes you up and
You sit with your
Crossed because
Why ask for trouble?
After dinner you hide my
Pen and
Teach me to sew.
I never take the
Lessons up again
You knit
Small talk and apologies
Across my
To hide the runes you spent
Years burning into my teeth.
However,You forgot the
Tooth Fairy never did come
To make
Even when my
Lips snapped open to
Spew out new letters.
Tonight I
Saw my words glowing in
An alleyway crawling
With shadows
And I think you could have been

Author Bio: Margo Marie McManus is a high school junior with passion for art, poetry, and Straight A’s. She enjoys writing about anything she finds inspiring, from warm popcorn to something she heard in the hallways. Margo lives in South Carolina with two cats, her parents, and far too many shoes.