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Was it this thin before,
When I raced through to the end
In a single breath?

Did I guess motivation
Where none is given,
None implied?

Was the prose this flat
Or was I hardly rounded myself,
A child raised on early TV?

Did Dorothy breathe, or was the land
Of Oz as flat as Kansas, air as thin,
Its conversations always this gray?

Did I root for the witch,
The flying monkeys,
Or does that come later,

After puberty, and into old age
Where all lines are blurred?
Childhood’s assumptions

Have lost their golden shine,
Fog obscures corruptions,
And we all need a curtain

To hide behind.



Jane Yolen writes poetry for both children and adults. She is a past winner of the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Rhysling award for a short poem, Dwarf Star Award for poems under ten lines, as well as being named by the Association as a Grand Master of science fiction and fantasy poetry. She is a frequent poetry contributor to such genre magazines as Asimov’s, Mythic Delirium, and Goblin Fruit. She has over 370 books published, a huge number of them poetry. Her books have won the Caldecott, the Christopher Medal, the Jewish Book Award, and two of her stories were Nebula winners. Three of her books won the Mythopoeic Award. Last year, she was named a winner of the New England Public Radio’s Arts and Humanities Award. And her Skylark Award set her good coat on fire.
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