I saw a show with a runaway girl who kept
her long hair coiled up in a newsboy’s cap.
Surviving in the wilderness, she saved
A friendly wolf who left a rabbit by her campfire.
Skinning it was gross, but she had to eat.
One morning over Quaker oats I said,
I think I’m going to run away from home.
My Dad and I discussed the plan. I’d leave
at suppertime, provided with a sack
to hold two shirts, my favorites, some apples,
and Granny’s number. My sister bawled.
I’d stoweaway in Southlake Mall and live
off pretzels, Icees, movies rated R,
Take baths in the fountain after hours,
snatch handfuls of pennies. I’d sleep curled up
in display beds in Home, breathing in those
festive florals, a new set each night.
Maybe I could get kidnapped by some crooks
That weren’t so bad once you got to know them, who
lived in their van or, better yet, a shantytown!
My portrait on cartons of milk and t.v. sets:
Missing Child. Heart of Gold. Large Reward.
That night I walked off Barnett Road, on past
the trailer park and crossed Old Dixie Highway
by myself. I took these things to a desert isle,
hitchhiked out west, jumped on a boxcar. I joined
a tribe of orphans turned loose in a dark museum,
with no bedtime, just like you read about.