{ poetry : “runaways” }

I haven’t written here for quite a while—almost six months, actually. Between the holidays, editing, transitions with my nanny work, and the continuing emotional journey, words have been awfully difficult to nail down, even when I did have ideas of things to post about. Writing really is the best and the hardest thing for me to do, and navigating that internal landscape is tedious, to say the least. But while I continue to slog through it, I leave you with this poem I wrote about my love-hate relationship with writing the words.

They are escape artists.
Masters of deceiving and then making you believe their leaving is
All gossamer wings and sunshine and poetry
But then you try to breathe and realize
They took all the air with them

These words, these turns of phrase
Sparking an interest, igniting ideas
Dialing up a giant game of telephone in your imagination just to see what happens
They are the cool kids inviting you to play with them
And you do
Because the play’s the thing and you want to see what happens
But see they play at meaning
Like a giant game of hide-and-seek
“We’ll hide, you seek,” they say
And they mean it
So you do
Sit down, close your eyes, start to count
As they fly away in every direction at
Make some tea or coffee, grab cider or wine
Anything to satisfy your thirst while you search
Gather your pen and page, be they literal or digital
They’re gone
And you’re there trying to breathe

They take their gossamer wings and sunshine and poetry
And leave you as nothing but vapor and dust
Wondering what you did wrong
Who you are wrong
Where you wandered wrong
And how you live right when you can’t write
Because they done you wrong

I write in pen so when they run I can find them
Follow their flight
Write down their breadcrumb trails
Through the cardboard jungles and condemned warehouses
In my mind
They hide in abandoned corners
Or independent—
Who’s to say?

But I say
I need their fire and their fight
I root them out and drag them back
To the vapor and dust
To the play and the page
If this is what happens when I let them out to play
Then I will lock them in
But then I’m out
And they don’t invite me back in

They don’t build a wall, y’all, they ARE the wall
One hundred miles tall but only one letter thick
Can’t break through
Can’t climb over
Can’t go around
Am stuck on the other side
Watching from the inside as they escape out the back door
This time no call, no invite
No “Come along for the ride!”
They run away with what they know
And leave me behind
For an end
To the running away

“Runaways” © 2016 Amber Crafton. No part of this poem may be reproduced in any form—neither in print, nor in speech, nor on the web—without my express written consent. You may use the contact form here on this blog to request permissions if you so desire; please be very specific about how much you wish to quote/reproduce, for what purpose, and where. Thank you.


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