Reasons the Troll Won’t Let You Cross by Hilary Biehl Not because you ate that fig, or because you cast a glance over your shoulder, or because the straw you slept in still stipples your hair. Because you argued when you should have listened. Because you didn’t meet my eyes when we passed on the road. Because you met my eyes and saw a crude, unfinished version of yourself. Because you didn’t notice how the sunlight glistened in my eyelashes. Because you already knew how this story would end, who would be happy and who would be eaten. Because you found your own flaws charming – a touch of weakness to endear and humanize the hero, who had no idea what it was to be beaten from the beginning. Because you took winning for granted. Because you made language and reason, morals and common sense bend at your behest, conform to your design. Because this splintered bridge that happens to be in your way, this one-more-obstacle in your all- important quest, is the one damn thing that’s mine.
Hilary Biehl is a neurodivergent writer and poet. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Luna Station Quarterly, Dappled Things, The Lyric, and Expanded Horizons. She lives in New Mexico with her husband and their 3-year-old son.