in the long shadow of dawn

my heart
skips and flutters
pebbles across turbulent waves
then sinks
deep deep
landing in a hot pit
not exactly despair
heightened senses scanning,
nostrils twitching,
scenting predators,
don’t fail me now
I am fight
I am flight
wishing for wings
to spread across the landscape
to shield my own
to fly us into the horizon
but escape is a fairy tale
I tell my children
as we crouch in the shadows
watching wolves

1SageFemme All Rights Reserved 2016

Part 3: Escape

waving goodbye and meaning it,
sorry sorry little brother
i am recently a child too
unaware that you and i are separate,
separated now
by the Salish sea
i go west like a pilgrim
to another place,

this one for moneyed chidren
of politicians, doctors and crooks,
if there is a distinction;
loud unruly daughters,
beligerant sons;
entitled, beastly,
privileged little racists,
future scientists, musicians, V-jays
and rapists,
did you ever notice how easy it is
to make one into the other?
the other

i found a home in this place,
learned, because i was told,
that one should look into
the other’s
that we do not speak to
potted plants
that humans hug,

how to explain now
how much i loved
that white-walled room
smelling of lavender and sweat;
the house mother, so kind
like a real mother might be
but not my real mother,

the common-room still lives
as tender memory
girls and boys piled higgledy-piggledy
the young and restless,
playing on that old tube tv
bare arms touching
glances passing between future lovers

i learned to dive
in the cold ocean
deep into wrecked places
the only girl
and therefore,
always proving my worth

my skinny boyfriend
loved skateboarding
and cigarettes,
was gentle and rough-dressed
and never used the phrase
meaning the convenience store,
like all the rest did

he was a loner, and so cool,
judd nelson to my molly ringwald
maybe he was a racist,
but he didn’t talk much
so i don’t know
he graduated
became a deep sea welder

i learned calculus,
and puked peach schnapps
neither of which
matters now
i learned the difference
between c and p
which still matters
like a car wreck in the rear view mirror
like a bullet hole
behind the bed

i thought i was free
but it was just
monster school.

1Sagefemme All Rights Reserved 2016