The first time I ran away,
I packed my chocolate cardboard suitcase
with my blue blanket in a lump
and an open package of Trident gum,
the weird peppermint kind I stole from my mother
while she tended to the second-hand store.
She didn't want me down the third aisle,
the one where I would disappear inside
the racks of coats and suit jackets,
but it was quiet there.
I could slip in back-first without looking,
and I did,
stood my little legs inside some old guy's boots
and felt the prick of dry fox fur against my temples
while I held real still,
like the baby deer that hid
with dappled backs in the field.
I was the only thing alive there,
sound underwater mute through the dark,
humid suede soft with indoor shade,
and I would never be found.