Cardboard Girl

she is a prisoner
in a cage whose door has no latch or lock
held captive by words like "then" and "should" and "impossible"
she carries a pine tree shaped car deotorizer in the back pocket of her GAP jeans
and pulls it out to impress her cell mates with stories of her adventures in the backcountry
adventures that she weaves as she goes along
sniffing the cardboard cutout
when she forgets what might come next
she has only ever seen photos of trees
because nothing real grows in her cell
except her belly's self-indulgent buldge
rope swings and tree climbing contests frighten her
she is fearful of splinters and sap stains

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