From the June Issue
ANNA M. EVANS
Map of Rugeley
This is the Building, where, for seven years
you held me like a changeling underground.
This is the Library where I hid my tears;
these are the books that bound them. This is the sound
of the bell; this is the smell of chalk and Dettol.
This is the score I vowed that I would settle.
This is the Town Square, where I walked, despite
your scornful girls, your petty thuggish gangs.
This is the Chip Shop where my appetite
was bullied from me. Where this awning hangs,
I sheltered from them, and your ceaseless rain,
watched cigarette butts drift toward the drain.
This is the Market where I squandered money
on cheap make-up and jewelry, intending
to reinvent myself. This is how funny
I looked. This is you laughing, not pretending
not to. This is me crying in your Park,
walking home alone in the rising dark.
This is the Bus Stop where I used to cower,
guessing at your next line of attack.
This the last place you had any power.
This is me, leaving and not looking back.
This is how I disown you in a poem:
you're Nowhere, and I will not call you home.