Run and Hide

run, little girl, run
run swiftly
as fast as your feet can take you

hide yourself away
in a thicket, in the woods
climb a tree, build a nest
high, so high up

or in the field, ‘neath the tall, tall grass
burrow as a tiny mouse
or near the sea, amongst the boulders
small as you can be

don’t glance behind you
beware lest you leave a trail
change your name when you have to
just never, never stop running

for they say words cannot hurt you
but they’ll never understand
those things said hurt far more
so very much more
than the beatings or the neglect
the empty stomach or bare feet

those words, they carry far more weight
than being dragged by your hair
or punched in the face, or spat on

vicious words cling to your mind
even as the bruises fade away
and the fear of leather eases
no, echoes of bitter spite linger and pursue
wherever you roam, they track and chase

so run fast, run far, little girl
far from all you can leave behind you
hide yourself away
from the memories and vile talk

and then get up and run further still
let the distance begin to heal you
perhaps the pounding of your feet
will cover the sound of their voices

and just maybe, years from now
when you run, quite by accident
into his open arms and
bury yourself in his neck
the tears may begin to wash away
the remnants, and perhaps
his love may conquer all those words
which reside in your head

tara caribou | ©️2023 revised

23 Comments on “Run and Hide

  1. An idea alien impossible
    in all you’ve known
    in all said to you
    declared insane
    with ugliest words
    but stubborn
    as a weed sprouting
    through concrete
    that somewhere
    beyond the horizon
    a light imagined
    a spark to seek
    outside the darkness
    a dream of a thing
    called hope
    to power your
    fleeing feet

    Liked by 3 people

      • Yes, and as the poem sank in, the words of Harriet Tubman ran through my mind:

        “If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Running from something that chases us is, instinctive, and, we get into the habit, of, using, flight as a, coping, mechanism, and, we never, learn to, face what life throws at us, and, that’s not, good, and, very, maladaptive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. That’s actually something which I have been thinking on a lot recently and trying to correct in my own personal life as well. There are certainly “pros and cons” to running and hiding. I do believe there are times when we should get up and run for a little bit… but then we must turn and fight, or else, as you said, it becomes a habit to simply run and not actually face it.


  3. Is it ever truly possible to run from the things that live in and haunt your mind? Perhaps, as you allude to, it is the comfort found in true love that sets us free. A fine piece, Tara.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly, Chris. I think it’s good to put some distance, as it were, between your self and your ‘demons’ (whatever they may be), but also to realize love conquers all.. and I truly believe that. Love, in its many forms, covers over and forgives and heals, and sometimes the unquestioning love of even one other person can bring that about in unexpected ways… maybe even help you turn around and fight.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow, this has everything…lodging itself in the heart and the sea walled mind. I feel the pleading, and also the defiance; I like how it pendulum shifts from one to the other. Lots of agency to this piece, thank you for sharing Tara.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Those sharp and ill-intended words formed such a dark force to torment and stalk. May the heart and mind break free into safety again, and not a dark cloud in the soul.

    Liked by 1 person

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