No matter what the weather,
there’s always a chill in the air.
No warm welcome eases the frosty blast
of unspoken disappointment
that hovers above me like a shimmering sword.
Conversations are fencing rounds,
with a jab here and lunge there.
Despite my attempts to parry
the barbed observation or pointed question
about the state of my bedroom,
the status of my homework,
or what I’m wearing,
I never make it past the starting mark.
Always the master of feint,
you convince me to disengage rather than riposte.
Conversations about your friends lead to
criticisms of my friends,
and as usual, I am left defenseless,
unwilling to speak the words I know
will lead, inevitably,
And so I withdraw,
waiting and wondering where
the épée will strike next time.
Still, I remain optimistic.
It’s true I don’t like these fencing lessons,
but I have always been a quick study.
What’s that phrase about the student
becoming the master?
Yeah, I look forward to that.