New Jacks, New Jills

by Virgil Renfroe

Thrice-told tales like barbed-wire fences—
and most of us inheriting the local narratives
passed down as we watched and mimicked,
trying clothes on until we could not get them off—
those sentences strung about our childhoods,
invisible as children gone into the woods.
One must run full speed at them to leave.
The shredding of the face. The new face born.
I was bloody. I was Alan. I was letters.

VIRGIL RENFROE writes and teaches in Greensboro, NC. Recent poems appear in Rialto, Forklift, Ohio and Sixth Finch.