Circuit Boards

They never scolded me for taking apart the electronics.
Every last screw, I’d remove them all.
What wonders my young eyes would take in
as I studied each of the circuit boards I undressed,
With such intricate connections that I knew as life’s breath.

Even I, a child, understood the complexity of what made such things tick.
And I’d put them back together and they would work again, like new.
The adults never seemed to mind these dissections of mine.
I wondered why. Always… I wondered why.

So I asked the family dog one day, why I never got into trouble,
But my cousins were scolded so severely when they visited —
When I coached them in the ways of the Philips and Flat.

“Of course they don’t scold you,” the old dog replied.
“They have faith, after all,
that you are their prodigy, a genius that the world has yet discovered.”

I remembered what that dog had told me,
many years after it had passed on.
And they built me up all through those years.

So intelligent!
So creative!
So well-behaved!
This child will go on to do such great things!

Ah, but look at me now.
All grown up…
And like talking dogs and that old man in red
that brought me presents every year…
Like all those toy robots I killed and brought back to life…
Like the crayons that had feelings
who would cry if I didn’t include them in my picture…

Like all of them…
I too was make-believe.
My circuitry was never wired for great things
like they had hoped.
Like they had hoped?
No, they knew all along and that dog was a liar.

Those ” hopes” were empty words of false encouragement–
Sympathetic praise for the child who was broken from birth,
A child who could only find comfort in the artificial
lives of her patients made not by myself,
but by Sony and Mattel.
No one believes in me now. Not them. Not me.

Reality showed me who I truly was.
I’m no genius or undiscovered prodigy.
I’m no artist. No clever writer or great heroine.
No great lover that is worth fighting for.
No great doctor or leader. No adventurer.
No great musician. No great singer with a voice
that would melt someone’s circuit board down to its core
No great anything.

Not anymore.

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