Minimum Day

It’s about time I wrote again. My poem for day 2’s prompt of Writers Digest’s 2014 April Poem-a-Day Challenge: Write a voyage poem.

Home lay over the overpass,
but a yellow sign forbid two ten-year-olds from crossing.
I thought the trek around would be as straight,
but streets branched into industries
we never saw on drives back home.
The paths I hoped would lead us back
ended in walls we wouldn’t scale.
I understood street names as little
as graffiti on the sides of empty buildings
and company logos unseen at Toys’R’Us.
The few passersby that drove these streets
would neither stop nor slow for us—
we knew not to talk to strangers anyway.
A nudge and a prayer guided my way.

We crawled through the labyrinth
hungry for food and home and Sega games;
I wished I could reset now that we were stuck.
I would’ve listened to my brother when
he said we should walk to grandma’s two blocks from school
or even wait for mom to pick us up,
but I knew the way home, just not below
the overpass we had driven across before.
Halfway through, we couldn’t turn back.
Tall blocks of buildings hid east from west—
as if I could read a compass anyway—
but a hunch encouraged me forward.
I just had to find the right direction.
Home lay only a few blocks away.

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