Jan 28

run away

First of all, before you read this poem, I want you to know that drapetomania has a pretty bad history as a word. An old white man decided that he was going to use the word to describe runaway slaves, trying to prove that the reason they were running away was because of a mental illness, which is such a disgusting thing to say, I cannot express the hate I have for that man. This is not the proper use of the word, and I hope no one thinks I am referring to this! I am using the word with the definition i have pasted below, the definition I have found in quite a few dictionaries.

1. drapetomania
(an overwhelming urge to run away from home)

she wants to run.
she wants to run
far away from here. 
far away from the big houses,
the crowded yards, the 
smoking chimneys.

she wants to run from
her big wooden house,
her skirt catching in the 
wind, her hair floating up
behind her, her lace up boots
making a path through
the deep snow.

her face will flush, her
fingers numb, her feet
aching, her lungs gasping
for air, but she will not
stop running.

she doesn't know where she's 
going, but nonetheless, she keeps 
running, her green eyes sparkling
as the clouds part.

she hears a calling in 
the woods, her name being
echoed in the darkest parts
of the forest.

she shouts to the trees,
the animals used to her frantic
rampages throught their homes,
her touch familiar.

the bark is marked with
her fingernails as she once
again will drag them along,
taking a bit of her journey
with her. 

she stands in the middle
of the woods, listening to
the birds, to the forest that 
speaks her name so clearly.

and when it is time,
she turns back around 
bidding her humble fortress
farewell before running
back to the warmth of her home.