The Lessons of Oz | R a s m a H a i d r i | Rasma Haidri

The Lessons of Oz

Once a year, for seven years, I watched

terrified by the tornado and snatching trees, 

baffled by Dorothy walking all that way

without eating, and not once needing

to use the bathroom.

When older, I withstood the flying monkeys

by repeating - it's only a movie - under my breath, 

imagining a film crew, a director with megaphone

just off screen. Still I speculated

they must have fitted her with a special pouch.

Only later did I learn how we turn off the camera, 

walk away, reappear in new scenes, 

clicking our heels and starting over, 

as if anything can happen.

(first published in Adanna: Women and Art, 2016)