The Story, Around the Corner

is not turning the way you thought
it would turn, gently, in a little spiral loop,   
the way a child draws the tail of a pig.
What came out of your mouth,
a riff of common talk.
As a sudden weather shift on a beach,
sky looming mountains of cloud
in a way you cannot predict
or guide, the story shuffles elements, darkens,   
takes its own side. And it is strange.
Far more complicated than a few phrases
pieced together around a kitchen table
on a July morning in Dallas, say,
a city you don’t live in, where people
might shop forever or throw a thousand stories   
away. You who carried or told a tiny bit of it   
aren’t sure. Is this what we wanted?
Stories wandering out,
having their own free lives?
Maybe they are planning something bad.
A scrap or cell of talk you barely remember
is growing into a weird body with many demands.   
One day soon it will stumble up the walk and knock,   
knock hard, and you will have to answer the door.

Naomi Shihab Nye, “The Story, around the Corner” from You and Yours. Copyright © 2005 by Naomi Shihab Nye. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions Ltd.,
Source: You & Yours (BOA Editions Ltd., 2005)
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