When I was seven I wanted to run away from home,
miserable child alone in her solitude while adults
hurled insults and knives and forks across
the breakfast table, or threatened to scald
each other with boiling water snatched
up from the stove. The neighbors craned
their necks toward the fence or peered
outright through windows to watch our
daily theatricals of grief. And where
did I think I was going when I packed a set
of clean handkerchiefs and my toothbrush
into a brown paper bag, unlatched the gate
that always was kept so guardedly close?
Not three blocks away, before I reached the end
of the street where it curved away into town,
a kindly neighbor recognized me: saw
my tearful, shuffling progress along the sidewalk,
asked gently if I needed help returning home…
After all these years I no longer remember exactly
how the incident resolved, only that we retraced
my small, fugitive steps back; and no one
had even noticed I had tried to go—


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Ghazal, with Piano Bar in WinterNostos →

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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