Of course she will die, you say
in your German accent, after I ask,
Do you think the Wicked Witch will die?
How do you think she’ll die?
Maybe the Scarecrow will suffocate her with straw.
A house will fall on her like it fell on her sister.
The castle will collapse.
The Tin Man will decapitate her with his ax.
When Dorothy throws the bucket of water
and the Wicked Witch dissolves in her black garb,
you look disappointed.
You say, I have a heart
for those who are disadvantaged in society
but the child in me feels justice has been done.
Tomorrow, I will wake without
Aunt Em’s lukewarm wrapped washcloth
over my forehead. No farmhands,
no Toto, or open window.
A few hours before your flight, you’ll wake
and say to me, I was musing about the wizard
in my dream. He gave such bad advice:
building self-confidence upon a medal,
telling the tin man
it only matters how much
the heart is loved by others.
Jeffery Berg received his MFA from New York University. His work has appeared in Harpur Palate, Softblow and the Gay & Lesbian Review, and is forthcoming in the Hiram Poetry Review.
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