Fairy Tale

My father cuts off his thumb with a circular saw.

A tiny magical man makes me an offer.

 

I cannot refuse. My father’s thumb grows back.

The price I have agreed to pay is too great;

 

I cannot bear to say its name aloud. In the corner

of every room I enter, the tiny magical man

 

crouches, nameless and cruel. Not today, he says.

Not today. One day, I will enter a room and he will

 

not be there, and I will know the bill has come due.

A phone will ring. I will answer. A stranger’s voice

 

will mispronounce my name, apologize,

hesitate. In this brief silence, foolish hope will bloom.

 

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