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
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.