from Little Runaway

(the passports curled up) (it was so humid in our rented room)
            (travel to forget the criminal element) (in my bad blood)

(Nothing very significant at the cemetery)            (an unremarkable lunch salad)

                        (The thrift shop closed six months ago)

((We lit candles for a man who died) (rusted cellar grate)) (near to home)

            (I was afraid (and I made my friend afraid too))

                        (another woman altogether said they may be (murderers))

((I'm more worried about) being backed over by construction vehicles)

            (in other places)            (I do pray for my family's safety)

                                    (mother says it isn't working)

Copyright © 2018 by Krystal Languell. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 21, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I have tried many strategies over the years of negotiating the distance between myself and my family. Some of those strategies are collected in this poem. I have wanted to be better than I am. Closer, further away. It's a push and a pull. Elasticity. Balance sometimes seems out of reach.”
—Krystal Languell