Hannah Silverstein: Hansel and Gretel

In the real story, they never return.
             No one knows what happens to them,

so life goes on, ordinary, flesh
              long since grown over the wound—

if there is a scar, if some days
               near the end of winter a faint whiff

of mud and lilac makes their father
              pause, makes him almost forget

whose story he belongs to now—
              well, that will pass with the detonation

of a dropped plate on tile,
             or the patter overhead of new

small feet, charging into games
             with the bullish certainty

of belonging. And maybe,
              he thinks, all that past

was illusion anyhow. Remember?
              They were not good children,

the ones who wandered into the forest.
             Of their own volition, as he now recalls it.

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