The Pretense

I think I wrote this poem about 20 years ago. I've always liked it but it is now officially out of my send-out book. 

The Pretense

As a child you ran across fields

pretending to be a horse--

and years later you see 

how the world still spins 

on pretense. Your boyfriend

thinks he's a cowboy,

and your best friend struts

across the room like Barbara Stanwyck

in The Lady Eve. 

Your boss thinks he's George C. Scott

playing General Patton

and that man slouching

across the parking lot just now,

Humphrey Bogart,

who was always pretending to be

someone else. Your own role

in this lifetime, you know,

is to stop being Catherine

in Wuthering Heights,

suffering and in love

with the wrong person.

Your role is run

to the top of the hill

on a spring afternoon, 

a whinny rippling from your throat.

--Bethany Reid