November 9 Poem

I was captured on the coast

on a warm, clear day.

They marched me inland

my hands tied together

bare feet cut and bleeding

from the rocks and shrubs.

I seemed to be dreaming,

I didn’t know where I was.


I lay on my back looking up

at green trees above,

swaying gently in a soft breeze,

and I still wondered where I was.

I was alone, but others

milled about in a walled

compound in the forest.

People moving about the dirt

plaza busy with various jobs

and I lay there watching

wondering where I was and

how I got here, and all I

could think about was escape.

But the walls were high

with guard towers, and

I didn’t even know where I was.


Then one day I met her,

and I wasn’t alone anymore;

She was also a captive,

and I loved her.

We met secretly and

all I could think about

was taking her away

from here, with me.

I told her we would escape,

but I didn’t know how,

there seemed no way.


Our clothes hung in tatters,

our feet bare, hungry and gaunt,

but there was something in

her eyes that fed me, that

gave me hope. I could not

stop looking into those

fathomless eyes and seeing

a future far away from here.

We looked up at the green trees

and dreamed of running

through the forest, free,

together, side by side.


We watched and planned,

and waited and prepared.

Then I had it—bamboo poles,

the long bamboo poles

piled up against the south wall.

That was our way out.

She looked deep into my eyes

and trusted me. I would take

her away from here.


Early morning, dawn, the camp

is just beginning to stir, it is the

changing of the guards, a brief

distraction. A quick look,

a silent dash,

poles quickly propped up

then we are climbing up

and over. We are running now,

through the trees, bare feet

padding silently on the forest floor,

Breathless but seemingly running

effortlessly, gliding, the

branches whipping across my

arms and chest, and her hand in

mine, running, running hard for

our lives.


An alarm, pursuit, but we

are deep into the forest now

running silently, running freely,

like animals, never tiring,

and I turn to her and she to me

and we smile because we are free,

and we are together and nothing

can stop us now. We can run forever.

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