Prison Break

Prison Break

I spend no small piece
of each day
wishing we could take off.
Leave behind bills and jobs
the drama and maybe the dog
all ambition and most of our accrued hope—
     or what the Protestant Work Ethic
     substitutes for hope—
all our belongings
and the mice in the kitchen.

Leave the windows open
and let nature take the house.

I want to leave forever
every disappointment
and scar behind.
Burn my journals in a barrel in the yard
along with every credit card
and load only our most comfortable clothes
and a cooler with some sandwiches
in the car
take your hand
and drive into the world
like we're the first ones to discover it.

I think about it every day.
Most evenings, it's all I can do
not to beg you
to do this with me.

But all the little kids who call us "Uncle"—
they're here, and a good day at work
is such a balm when it actually occurs.
And our moms, they're getting older,
and yes, the dog.
And every piece of who we've been
up to this point, together,
is here, baked into our little patch:
the Golden Retriever we buried
under the tulip tree
every tear we've cried
every used-up party cup
raised in toasts with people who
look at us like we're somebody.
Every bit of love we've made.
All the Christmas decorations.

So here, take the keys
and these grocery bags.
Let's fold this load of laundry
and watch The Simpsons
Because the sound of your laugh
in these walls
is escape enough for me, tonight.