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When he was three, his father took his favorite Teddy bear
burning it in the fireplace
time to put baby things to rest, he said

When he was four, his dad told him
there was no Santa Claus
No need to keep lying to you- We can't afford much anyway

When he was five, his parent told him, after a series of arguments
that he had a choice
kill off his imaginary friend
or lose dessert for a month

So that day, a rainy March afternoon
he walked Avery to the corner- and told him he had to leave
before his father came after both of them

Avery left on his own accord
Whispering a small piece of advice

Get out while you can
They were words the boy wrote down,
then used, almost verbatim,

Directed at his father, 12 years later
as he walked into the kitchen with a shotgun

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