Hermione Granger

By Tiffany Troy

 Say years ago,
 You were Hermione 
 Granger beaming 
 with delight at the animation 
 of caged men 
 being led outside 
 of the cave 
 by the philosopher-king
 but you were locked 
 outside, as the class began 
 without you,
 and you wept.
 But say you told yourself 
 not to give up, just yet,
 as you peered into the split canvas 
 of paint, heart beating,
 but when you raised your hand 
 to speak, high, 
 way up high,
 you were not called on, and 
 eventually… 
 like a dog slapped 
 by his master
 too many times 
 in doing what he was not
 supposed to do 
 you were brought to the ground
 where you belonged. Say 
 you no longer gleamed
 and your hand waited 
 in your arms, hesitant, fearful
 of the heart-slap 
 more than yearning 
 to cough out phlegm
 trapped within you. Say 
 that is your school-life, 
 this sad noise,
 that after a while you stopped 
 caring about the hand-me-downs 
 from your big brother 
 or you tell yourself so. 
 But say you went
 through the Butler
 stacks on the tenth floor, 
 as if you were on
 an adventure, to search for
 books to be earmarked 
 but unmarked when unburdened 
 at the end of the semester
 in their colorful Borrow 
 Direct jacket, warmer 
 than your heart
 is, as outside, the apple grows, 
 drops, and rots. Say
 unlike Faust
 who was so driven 
 that he was good 
 enough to trade souls 
 with the devil, you 
 were no longer driven
 by books, or so you say, 
 out of your fear of not
 belonging, though it’s true
 you no longer 
 even want to be
 a philosopher-king. Say 
 still, even then, your smile
 betrayed you as your world
 expanded, as you flipped 
 open a little unknown
 and you quietly stepped 
 out of the darkness
 into the meadow 
 or swamp 
 that awaits you.


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