The first time my mother ran away
she took us with her.
We went north deep into rain-choked Massachusetts
until we collapsed heaving in a bed and breakfast
whose lobby had giant stone vases larger than I was
painted in diamonds
painted in black diamonds.
I read a book about El
Dorado, gold hidden in pages that I refused
to tear my eyes away from.
My mother didn’t say a word,
or I don’t remember her saying a word.
Rain cloaked around her, she carried
us away from our Connecticut house.
I think the rooms had started to become
too large for her, drinking in light and our voices.
My sister and I played outside.
Here we could only watch PBS from the edge of the bed,
learning about electrons while my mother lay behind us
on gold checked
sheets. Rain bordered us that weekend,
making every seat a shelter, every
room a cave.
Leaving, the air meshed around my fingers
when I pretended they were planes
flying just outside of the car window,
pilots safe from the downpour,
escorting us to wherever we needed to go.
I could never think of the pilot’s names,
but I could always do the voices.
They flew us all of the way
to a house that yawned empty without