How to Run Away

How to Run Away

Pack light. One change of clothes,

toothbrush, comb, headlamp, a book

shoved into your day pack. Leave room

to carry the breath, a low rumble,

of the man sleeping roughly next to you,

the crackle and hint of lingering smoke,

from a winter fire in the hearth,

the whispered story that kissed

the day’s end. Take only that evening

and not what followed,

not the days and nights stretched

and burdened by grief’s tonnage.


Lift the worn duvet, slip from the bed,

the floor’s cold sets you in motion.

Pull on your stashed clothes, coat, boots,

shrug the pack over your shoulder.

Don’t look back. Don’t hesitate hand on door.

Once outside, walk with the certainly

of a postman on his route.


Then disappear into the land

that calls the name you leave behind,

into the crowd you shun. Assimilate,

change color, shed skins, wear hats.

Cross borders, city, county, country. Cross

 into a place, a space foreign, forgotten.



Mani Pedi Sestina

Mani Pedi Sestina