THINGS I KNOW ABOUT LABYRINTHS: They are not mazes. You cannot get lost in them. Once you get to the heart you have to turn around and go back out. You must not tell a lie in a labyrinth. You must hold on to your string and you must have plenty of it. Maybe there will be a monster in there maybe there will be a delicate milkweed flower, who knows, least of all you. It is different from a seashell, specifically a whelk. When you turn and turn and turn into a shell you get to a point where there’s no going back. In July I fell in love to the sound of milkweed flowers heavying their scent, and tree frogs and tortoises came to sing with me just like they do in the movies. I always knew I was that kind of tree-frog-singing princess and here, finally, was proof, and love. That’s it, that’s the end of the story. There was no hardship and nothing to overcome. There was no breaking thread no mad-dash run for the sun no falling and no death. I did not have to walk in the dark counting white stones and left turns. I did not have to smell the milkweed in a heartbreak time and remember that once, long ago, I was happy.
Megan Leonard lives and works in New Hampshire. You can find more of her poetry in Sun’s Skeleton, Poems by Sunday, Glitterpony, Puerto del Sol and The Bellevue Literary Review.