When my little brother ran away from home

I raced after his tracks, alone, through the snowy fields behind our house.

Tripping on the boots I’d pulled on wrong, no gloves, no scarf to cover my throat,

I screamed his name over and over and over,

Wondering how the stars could be so beautiful

At a time like this.


When my little brother ran away from home

I turned on the men in uniform.

My coat open, hands bare and empty, I had nothing but my voice to use

To try and force from them word of whether my brother was safe or not,

Wondering how it was that only justice came,

With lights flashing, guns on hips,

At a time like this –

When what was really needed was grace.


When my little brother ran away he took home with him,

And I slept in a strange bed,

Only to return to a stranger’s house.

Mouth shut, eyes dry, hands clenched,

I stood in the robbed sepulcher through the door on the right at the end of the hall,

Staring at the window I’d found open to that starry frozen night

And wondering how life went on

At a time like this.



HOME RAN AWAY – Stacia Joy