This entry is part 12 of 29 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2012-13


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 →

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