"When I Was a Child I Was Afraid of TV" | Poetry Contest | Indy Week

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"When I Was a Child I Was Afraid of TV"

Honorable mention

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Remember the one where the phone line
breaks and falls on the man's grave
and the woman starts getting calls from the dead?
Well, who else would phone this late at night
and on the line we haven't used
since the kids left home?
So much for those iron laws
that guard us against the improbable.
I stayed outside worried to tears
when the girl fell out of her bed
and was lost in another dimension.
My parents laughed at me,
but what did they know
after four years at a teacher's college
about wormholes in time or tears in the fabric of space
and why would they tell me the truth
even if they did know.
The signal stretched over the snowy wilderness
forming a ghostly fluid on the cheap TV.
Like history, it was more real and more possible
than anything else around me
and let's face it, though no one likes to talk about it--
all our childhood fears eventually come true.

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