Could I do that or would my legs
be too sore to carry me
running barefoot for weeks in the dark,
the trees like bounty hunters lurking
sometimes there, sometimes in shadows?
Could I run in a straight line
with only the stars for a map
not the sun, and shut out the light
to sleep in the day and not snore
or sneeze or toss or turn
stifling under blankets of dirt in forests
with wolves and coyotes howling?
Could I stop my babies from crying
and stop running when I shouldn't stop running
to feed my babies from hot tired breasts
or feed them nothing at all?
Would I know the right berry or root?
Could I do that? Could I run and sleep
and hold my babies in my arms,
on my back and meet the stranger
I was supposed to meet
and trust the people I didn't know
and believe that someone cared?

Published in Women's Review of Books

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