Being a mother is hard and doesn’t come with the luxury of bad days. This poem (yes I know, another poem) came from a day that started bad, and only got worse. Kids’ whined and fought from the moment their eyes opened. I forgot snacks, missed team pictures for soccer, and made a bigger mess of everything. By noon, I could barely breathe.

Staying home, in the prison of our communal anger, would suffocate me, so I ran away. Thankfully my husband was there to watch over the family while I was gone. I found an asphalt trail nearby, and I started running, my breath wheezing out along with tears for the first miles. But the warmth of the sun sucked both sweat and pain from my skin, and by the time I was done, I could breathe again. So I went back to my family. Because that’s what mothers do.


A scream
A text
A child face down in anger

Missed note
Lost cup
A dash to fill an order

A cry
More shouts
A touch more like a stranger

A tear
A frown
No food and too much hunger

Curled tight
No air
Trapped by an unseen jailer


Athletic bra
and worn out shoes
First step on endless asphalt

Sweat trickles down
hurt drains away
as each stride takes me farther

A sunny breeze
The hum of bees
feasting on the yarrow

A hopper jumps
The others munch
A snake begins to slither

It disappears
into the weeds
disturbed mid sunny slumber

I breathe

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1 Response to Runaway

  1. Exercise was often my balm as a young mother too.

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