He looks like a normal kind of guy, he’s got a solid, dull career
His eyes were a safe warm brown, we’d been friends many a year,
He walked up to me with a troubled look, “hey, friend, you got a while?
There’s something I’ve got to tell you.” Then he gives me this odd smile.
“My mom said to keep the secret, or I’d lose more than I could win
I’ve been silent so long, it’s hard to know where I should begin—“
Then he popped the contacts from his eyes, showed me the bright green hue
“I’m an elf, well, half-elf” he said, his eyes proof that he spoke true
I refused to scream, although I’m sure the fear showed in my eyes
All know that you can’t trust an elf—why’d he show me his disguise?
But he didn’t offer any threat, just stood there awkwardly,
The same old nerdy space geek—so I just said, “So, why tell me?”
“I could say I’m sick of wondering who’d be friends if they knew
I could say I’m tired of lying, and God knows that that is true
But the truth is I’ve been too scared of what I’d lose to stand so tall
And if I hadn’t got this letter, I’d have said nothing at all.”
“But, my sister, she got married, and some while back had twins
The elfin blood shone through in them; they suffered taunts and sins
Now, the boy’s committed suicide; the girl is at death’s door
I wish I’d helped them sooner, but I can’t live silent anymore.”
He’d showed me pictures of those kids, bragged of talents they had shown
He loved them so, I’d wondered why he had none of his own
It was fear, I guess; looking in his eyes, a truth occurred to me
Elves have a lot to fear from us, that they all hide or flee.
I must have looked uneasy, for he looked down with a sigh
“If you feel we cannot still be friends, I sure understand why.”
I reached to stop him—touched an elf! But the world didn’t end.
I said, “I’m feeling kind of shocked, but I’ll not reject a friend.”
I remembered all the times we’d shared, how he’d helped when I was down
How he’d come to get me in the night when my car broke far from town
And I imagined that bright, pretty boy now laid out underground,
And I said, “this world’s a better place, with folks like you around.”
Copyright ©2007 (November 7, 2007) Deirdre M. Murphy, all rights reserved.
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