I ran away when I was four. A satchel snatched and stashed inside was a pencil, a postcard of pastel skies, and six sweets to pillow my cheeks. Slung on my apple shoulder, the satchel thumped like a parent patting a choking child. My face, urgent like a hot round quiche, sweaty warm, not crying but the blackbird did in the peeling gums edging the strip of houses before the town. The town; the place of still-faced statues, of adults set about in chairs and offices like caged animals performing tricks for profit. Feeding the great collective on the slow grey death of the earth. So I drew it with pencil on postcard: one tree, short grass, a kangaroo - all I knew of freedom and joy and handled it like Marie Curie cupping a precious extraction. Stopped by police, I gave it to them saying, “This is the way to be.” As an adult, I sit among the automatons; a puppet grinding words for dollars having forgotten the wise child who knew how to live.
Published in Visual Verse Vol 9 Chapter 12.
Visual Verse: An Anthology of Art and Words supplies an image each month and invites writers to submit a piece in response within an hour. Please see the link below.