Run, Girl

for Nissa

The wind at your back
cheers your momentum.
Spectators pack the trail,
ready lips suck cold air,
legs pumping long strides,
hair blowing back except
for the part in back
that lags straight up
like some hep-cat
in Louisiana. You,
the blond, blue-eyed
child who came to us at
three wishing you could run
wild with the mommy who wouldn’t be one.
You’re all legs at fourteen, but she eludes you
still. The surrogates you chase in her place
naughty-haired, white-smiling boys
with four-packs hold intentions
other than motherly.

Breathe, girl.
Work your hard, lean muscles.
Toss your hep-cat head
like the mule you’ve become
packing love for those
who never claim it.

Run, girl.
Your origins
mere competitors
and you blowing by.

A prior version of “Run, Girl” first appeared in Poetic Voices.

 

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