The Storyteller

by Imogen Wade

When I was a child,
I believed in magic.

I used to walk in the woods
skipping ahead, searching
for goblins and fairies
hidden in the shade of the trees.

The air used to glimmer
as if invisible boundaries
were becoming thin.

I glimpsed an elf’s scaly hand
creeping around
an oak’s thick trunk.

Small lights flickered on bushes
chattering things
with small, fragile wings.

Now I have grown, and
I believe in stories.

I sit with adults at the table
and smile with my lips
but inside I am thinking
of a wild wooden ship.

I tell tales in my mind
of men in shackles
who searched for freedom.

I read faces, now,
instead of walking on the fens.

Now I am older,
I give words
to the stories in people’s heads.