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©2018 Barren Magazine. An Alt.Lit Introspective.

A Loud Message


by Hannah Calkin

My friends, we say happily ever after
ss something to clutch at–
For longer than a year, or two,
whenever the honeymoon
becomes foreign sand.
I say it doesn’t mean a promise
it means the biggest wish
like we forgot our shoulders
can’t carry its load unless
we have a water buffalo handy–

I think whoever can outlift the buffalo
should teach others to be warmer and louder.
If that were me, I’d promise that happily ever after
isn’t sudden– if we charge to the roses
they retract their redness.

But maybe the ever is the barrier
here– happy is a welcome guest
and after comes like the seasons.
It’s ever that’s misplanted–
because we want to walk in stride
with lazy butterflies instead of digging
our oars into the river to keep
from pitching down the waterfall.

When I say happily after
happy after the rain, down the waterfall,
happy with and without the oars–
I mean to say we were joined by both bright
and dim. What unsettled and blessed us.
Let’s remember that sometimes our shadows
can accumulate to a rainbow
even when we’re tossed by a tempest
and can only survive by cowering
between two barrels of gunpowder.

Header photograph by Jason D. Ramsey.

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