March, 1960 – from How to Disappear
March, 1960 - from How to Disappear
I was hiding
when I heard your voice.
Courage grew like a new pair of legs.
I hurried down the stairs!
How long are you staying?
How long would I be safe,
be part of a kite with a flexible string?
I wanted to rise, take in the aerial view.
Was there a way out beyond the poplars?
I was tired of hiding
under my childhood desk
where I didn’t fit anymore,
feet scrunched, arms folded.
When my parents yelled
you walked out of the house
and wandered down the suburban street.
I would run after you, my mirror of
Years later I heard that your husband,
my grandfather— was the angry one.
I tamp down my own temper.
Imagine what it was like to be
a therapist, like you,
still unable to come to grips with anger
in the family,
that riptide we spun in.