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Paper Cranes

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I fold a paper crane
My fingers dart
Opening a fold here
Making a crease there
Until at last I finish, and
I hold a crane in my hands
All jagged angles and sharp edges
But a crane nonetheless
I pencil in a number
On the underside of its wing: 532

A legend says that 1000 pieces
Of folded paper, once strung up
Grant you one wish
One wish for a thousand cranes
I haven’t thought about
What wish I’ll make
Power? Wealth? Beauty?

I look at the paper crane
In my hands, so fragile
It is not beautiful
All jagged angles and sharp edges
None of the sinuous fluidity or
The graceful poise a
Real crane has.

It has paper wings
But cannot fly
My fingers trace its paper edges
Gaining a paper cut from its head
A single ruby drop stains
The pure white paper
I focus on my cranes

All 532 of them
532 pairs of flightless wings
532 jagged angles and sharp edges
532 parts of a thousand-fold wish
532 pieces of paper
Folded into a mockery of freedom

I find my wish




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