STARTING OUT

No one saw her leaving.
It was early morning.
In a bag she carried
A Post office savings book,
A flannel and a toothbrush,
One book entitled
The Penny poets’.

She was running away
At fifteen years old
Afraid of her father.
She won’t return,
But has nowhere to go.
It’s an adventure.

At the corner of the road
She turns, thinking
of her mother and her sister.
Eyes full of tears,
But resolute, she walks
On into her future.

She will be a poet.
Such beginnings are poetic
In the abstract.
In reality, when sleeping
In the cold park,
The poems freeze on her lips.

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