Leaving Home

Margaux Novak
Featured Image: Shadow step © A. Anupama 2017

Four is an age when I knew things. Knew when
it was time to leave, search for a new home.
I had packed pajamas and my favorite purple skirt,
and lots and lots of underwear and socks 
or maybe just socks?


Door step steep, I imagined an ocean.
How easy it would be to step off the plank
into open water. How suddenly I wasn’t sure.
The front porch looked much longer in night,
and would it be cold?


I ask my grandmother for quarters
in case I needed water or wanted
grape soda from a vending machine
whenever I got somewhere. She handed me
six quarters and very seriously asked about my plans.


To see the world, I said, and see Dad, I added.
She nodded solemnly, watched me shuffle back
to the edge of that polished oaken step
the precipice of my new life.
You can always start tomorrow, she said.