What They Taught Me

I raised my hand
and asked what the story meant.

They told me,
“There’s as many meanings to this story as
there are readers.
It’s your story.”

I asked about a symbol.
“Symbols are deep and personal,
connected to the collective unconscious,
but ripe for the taking.
It’s your symbol.”

I took a story and a symbol
and hung them around my heart.

They told me,
“Take it down!
That story is wrong.
That symbol means hate.”

I should never have raised my hand.

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