Poetic Play

lying still in the dark

even in her 60’s she loves to hide
steals solitude like a cat burglar
slipping food, books, time
into pockets sewn invisibly
into her daily masks

It began as escaping
the voracious mother,
the constellated father,
gravity’s demand that she, too, fall
within reach of that black hole

she screamed and slammed the bedroom door.
Daddy came to cajole, excuse, justify
Wallah, she is gone:
what magic, what stealth

he failed to lift the cushions
of the old fold-out couch
see into the space between
where a girl could lie
grafted to cold iron

still for hours
light motes slipping through tiny gaps
in nubby green boucle
ever her death practice
earthchains escape

one rule: keep a refuge
next door lindenwood
tiny trestle across the slough,
long attic crawl space
all her treehouses

soda crackers stocked,
well water in a jar,
cigar box holding her dragon hoard
bits of mother’s broken jewelry,
sister’s coveted Barbie cloche

Later, ditch weed, pipe, stolen cash,
notebook, pencil stub
Writing curled on a musty quilt
grateful for childhood’s cursed gift:
to live unseen by adults

The decades roll and hiding in plain sight
is simplified with wrinkles, belly, attitude
culture’s cult of youth
is a better hiding place
than inside an old couch

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