I remember the taste of blood

running to where my brother
was playing the sheriff
with my old-fashioned telephone.
He got the ring and sent me,
the deputy, running and running
around the sidewalked circle
to the OK Corral and back again.

I was bringing a message.

Young Mercury, fleet-footed
and helmeted, must not have
been with me that day as I went
flying around, only to crash on
some concrete steps at the zenith.
My head burst open and flooded me
with the metallic red stuff, all
warm and sticky and flowing
into my eyes and mouth.

Everyone had to be brave.

Later, at the hospital
I awakened from the ether
with three stitches,
one for each of my years;
the taste of metal
and the spirit of the message
forever linked.

—KL Robyn
16 March 2012

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