Candace Butler

I Was Born Old

I was born old, wheeled to a crib of canes
where I slept away my youth.
My arm flailed out beside me,
dog-iron fingers hinged and ready
for some sort of imagined flame.
I never thought to scrawl down all those dreams
that were more like memories than visions
until the arthritis moved from my varicose legs
to my ridged knuckles to settle down.
Now when my crow’s feet yawn and stretch,
papoosed in their nursery of creases,
I forget I’m not a newborn, too.

One day my fingers will tie up in knots
and I’ll be hard-pressed to undo them.


Candace Butler is a poet and writer residing in her hometown of Sugar Grove, Virginia. She has two poetry chapbooks: Nothing Is So Lovely (Finishing Line Press, 2016) and Royal Crown (Wild Leek Press, 2014). She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing with a mixed concentration in poetry and creative nonfiction from Antioch University of Los Angeles. Butler is an Adjunct Professor of English at Emory & Henry College. Her poems have been published in many journals and anthologies. 


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