Erika Coetzee

Red herrings: a prose poem

On the way to absolutely, I stumble over clues. Misleading directions through the backyards of truths. Wouldn’t have to worry about making wrong turns, if ghosts didn’t grab at maybe down tentative alleys, and if hoodlums and insurance salesmen wore avoidable coats, and no shadows were attached to advertising promises, and if 101 therapies didn’t claim to heal you and sob stories never swapped places with happy endings. If only I were fixed undoubtedly to the ground I would feel the yes of course with the toes of my roots, I would know the shape of wisdom, I would recognise the taste of good. But as it is, no doves nestle in my either/or hands, and red herrings litter all my hints of understand.

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