The Truth

In which I ponder the importance of being earnest

Pencil sketch of a crab by Isla Kennedy - Medically Unexplained

The kids I taught were obsessed with The Truth.

A poem on mixed race identity.

‘Yeah, but is it real?’

A novel on the Great Depression.

‘Yeah Miss, but is it real?’

An entrail sucking demon from another realm.

‘Yeah, but -‘

They’re a Greek chorus with a brain-liquefying song.

I still wonder why it was so important

That the world be carved into truth and lies.

Why reality held such value,

And fiction was Fool’s Gold.

‘Anyone can say anything, isn’t it.’

‘And, like, if it didn’t happen then it don’t mean nothing.’

I fumbled for justifications,

Explanations of allegory and escapism,

Imagination and interpretation.

I cautioned that reality was often subjective,

And that ‘based on truth’ was not truth.

I was petrified by Medusa stares.

(I took the coward’s way out:

That demon and its fiery realm were definitely real,

That’s why they spell it ‘Real-m’.)

I suspect my former charges continue to split the world asunder,

And eye fiction with suspicion.

But in a world such as this,

With reality so surreal,

I hope they’ve come to detect

The lies that lie in The Truth.

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