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 Page: Profile: Poetry   Total Views: 10,206,941  

Poem Specs

VxPoem ID: 35270


Posted: January 29th. 2009 1:07:19 PM

Views: 476

The wild girl

by horned goddess

Age Group: Adult

One day that summer

you decided to run away.

You took nothing with you, 

made no preparations at all,
in fact; just decided

while you were standing
the secret garden your uncle had made

that you should live there
instead of home.

It was a pretty place.

Blackberries grew on a wall of bushes

tall enough to hide
a small girl from sight.

After the narrow entrance
Uncle Cecil had hacked, 

tucked between the creek and the mountain,
there was a ring of thick green grass

overhung with enough trees
to feel like a hidden nest.

Daffodils dotted the creek bank, 

and reedy wide-leafed hollow plants
that popped pleasantly
when you broke them.

The creek burbled harmlessly by
unless it was flooding, 

plenty of water to drink
and berries to eat.

But you needed somewhere to hide

in case they came for you.

You went back for your father's shovel
and started digging a hole.

You would make it deep and wide, 

line it with woody reeds and leaves
like Wind in the Willows, 

like Bilbo Baggins, make it cozy

with a hidden roof of thatched grass.

And everyone would walk by
saying where did she go?

Have you seen my daughter?

You would hear them there,
listening secretly right beneath their feet,
but you would never answer.
Rumors would start
about a long-haired brown-skinned

wild girl someone saw
in the woods.

You dug it three feet deep,
two feet wide, four feet long.

The ground became harder
the deeper you went.

Your arms ached and you smelled
the honey-sunshine scent of your sweat.

Your work was good and so was your plan.

They never deserved you anyway.

But somehow your cozy hidden house 

started to look like a grave

as the sun went down.

The twilight breeze on your
sweat-damp skin chilled you.

You started to wonder how long

it had been since you left.

What was Mom making for dinner, 

and when would she call you?
The absence of her usual plaintive calls
made the dusk darker.

Who would your cat curl against tonight?

Would she know to find you here?

You should have brought her.

How did your book end?

How would you get books, anyway?

After sundown you walked to the house

with your head down, 
a dirty, sweaty failure
carrying your father's shovel.
You didn't bother to fill the hole in.

When you came back later
it had filled with water
and it looked so small and miserable.

How did you ever think it could be home?

However long you were gone,
they never came looking.

They never knew how close
they had come to losing you for good.

You never told them, 

and when Uncle Cecil saw
your abandoned warren he asked

with his jokingly sinister grin
whose grave you had been digging.

Author's Notes: I wanted to capture this moment in my life and remember it always, because it was the day I tried to swap my family and everything I'd ever known to live free in the forest with the animals. It didn't quite work out, but I think a part of me is still roaming around those woods somewhere.

Author's Location: Durham, NC, North Carolina
Author's Profile: To learn more about horned goddess - Click HERE
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