Poetry, Charlotte Plançon
Pharmacies and peg legs.
Bloodhounds and hidden retainers.
These are the tales of my childhood.
Somebody tell me,
When does one child’s name become another’s?
Distended vowels and chopped consonants
A linguistic Frankenstein,
A memory monster.
My memories are being rethreaded like torn mittens
And the stitches don’t line up.
The pattern is all wrong.
Do you not see, I shout across the dinner table
Where the seamstresses of my life sit
new memories I know to be
Rotten at the core
Do you not see?
They turn a blind eye,
My weird sisters.
The gatekeepers to my family history
My young bones cannot conceive of.
I can only cave as
They dig into me,
My Trojan horse is empty.
They hold all the keys
And I am locked out
Of my past
I once leapt from my changing table and dislocated my mother’s arm,
But I fear one day
Parchment smiles will laugh about my sister taking the dive
And I will be left to wonder
Did I ever make the leap?
I grow paranoid.
They’ve broken into my past,
They’ve rearranged the blocks in my mind,
And expect me to find myself among this new order they’ve instilled.
They speak as if they are letting me in on a secret.
My life is not a secret and
Not theirs to keep.
I rock myself at night and whisper
To the ghosts in my bedroom
I remember I remember I remember.
But remembering is not always enough.
I must wait for them
To teach me their trade.
For one day, I too will be
My family’s locksmith.
Charlotte Plançon is an English professor living in Paris. In between classes, she writes poetry, grades papers, and haunts her local café. Her work has been published in The Purposeful Mayonnaise and The Rainbug Poetry Review.