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(she'll be running to be running, 'cause it's all she knows to do)

stateless person,
three passports,
a handful of pictures,
and a bag of tacky souvenirs,
from greece, russia, china, spain.

all that’s left of the
girl-who-ran.

the police gather the items,
the evidence of a life lived alone,
of a live spent running,
from plane to plane, from airport to airport, from place to place.

no one comes to identify the body.

a consequence of cutting ties.

it takes;
three months,
seventeen days,
six hours,
fifty three minutes,
seven hundred and thirty two phone calls,
six hundred and twelve cups of coffee,
and one determined detective
to find
her people.

they stumble in, her parents,
old and gray and defeated.

prematurely aged by a restless child.

siblings, too, made bitter by abandonment
and its
deceiving repercussions.

friends come as well,
remembering a girl that wanted the world
and was given an oyster
instead.

no one cries.

they’ve been expecting
this call
for a while, now.

the mother accepts the belongings, quiet, and tired, and strong.

she does not break when going through the small pile.

she does not break until they return home,
they, the remnants of a family,
when she frames a picture of
the girl-who-ran,
and puts it on the mantle.

she does not cry until the
girl-who-ran
is home again.

for good.



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