• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 12
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THE MESSENGER

I ran away when I was four.
A satchel snatched and stashed inside
was a pencil, a postcard of pastel skies,
and six sweets to pillow my cheeks.  
Slung on my apple shoulder, the satchel thumped
like a parent patting a choking child.
My face, urgent like a hot round quiche,
sweaty warm, not crying but the blackbird did
in the peeling gums edging the strip of houses
before the town.

The town; the place of still-faced statues,
of adults set about in chairs and offices
like caged animals performing tricks
for profit. Feeding the great collective
on the slow grey death of the earth.

So I drew it with pencil on postcard:
one tree, short grass, a kangaroo - all I knew
of freedom and joy and handled it like Marie Curie
cupping a precious extraction.
Stopped by police, I gave it to them
saying, “This is the way to be.”

As an adult, I sit among the automatons;
a puppet grinding words for dollars
having forgotten the wise child
who knew how to live.

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