They said that you should look out…
Yes, you heard them say it on the car radio as you were driving home from work.
They said it in frantic tones
The said that you should look out for the one who escaped from the mental institution just down the road.
But you don’t worry.
For any escapee with any good sense would run far away.
They’d take a train, a bus, an unattended car.
You live too close to the asylum.
And you can see the patients peering out the windows of the place
Eyes vacant, staring and longing
For a better life
A better day
A better way…
Yes, the escapee will get as far away as possible from that place.
So you finally make it home
You walk into your house
And there is something in the middle of the living room floor that wasn’t there when you left for work this morning.
It’s a brown paper bag that has fallen to the side.
And out of it spills a scrunched up hospital gown
And a pair of mismatched socks
And a brand new never sharpened pencil.
And a half eaten cup of ranch dressing
You pick up the pencil and you smell the eraser
It smells like bubble gum.
You dip your finger in the dressing
You bring your finger to your tongue.
The dressing is cool and tasty,
Refreshing on this hot summer day.
You look up and you smile.
You see him standing there, smiling at you.
It’s your husband.
The love of your life.
You have missed him so.
He has made his escape.
He’s finally home.
(From The Women of Color Writing Workshop, January 2012... 10 minute exercise: write a story or poem using the following items (found in a purse)- half eaten cup of ranch dressing, mismatched socks, pencil, and bubble gum)
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