the runaway mother

The baby sways upon her hip, and no one knows

The inner fight, the sharpened claws that scrape and scratch

At heart strings meant to hold, despite the battering that they may take.

Her body moves like second hands that tick the time

And count her down to 5am, when she will slip from dusky rooms

While children sleep and husbands hardly miss

The quiet work she did until she left, that day

She put her foot down, passed the slip road, headed north.

Responsibilities peeled away with every passing mile,

Borders crossed and burgers barely touched in service stations

They had counted as a family, on the road to Scottish holidays,

A happy time of camping out and hiking hills.

It’s changed though, something darkened with that birth

And now she cannot bare to dream, of days so joyous,

Of any light to pierce that heavy gloom. Leaving is the only choice,

She knows that road will lead nowhere, but distance helps,

It eases pain, that slowly got too much.