Happy Birthday



The bags in the back
of the wood paneled station wagon
were stuffed with clothes
size 7 jeans
Rolling Stones t-shirt
a half dozen skirts
but no shoes with heels
makeup and a curling iron
a mint green, long, Grecian style dress

She’d left quickly
no luxury of time to pick through her wardrobe
thrown her backpack
bulging with homework
on the red vinyl seat beside her
started the ignition
carefully checking the rear view before reversing
and drove off

At the round, oak, dining room table
her mother sat
still bruised and shaken
from her confrontation
with the girl’s drunken step father
Her choice made:

Prom just days away
weeks after that
the girl became homeless
driving away in a borrowed car
from an ex-boyfriend

She had her camera
Her typewriter

What else could she ever need?

February 2013
Julie Ayers


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