Self-Portrait as Road Runner

You with your elaborate schemes of entrapment,
your hunting parties, moonshine and shot-gun weddings,
your Sunday-school socials for girls to glue bird seed
and pasta on prayer plaques, sew aprons with Singers–
this desert was your acme, your hunger was to prove
you could handle a hammer, a tractor, a power tool,
that nothing was better than a stew of home-grown
vegetables and a captured bird. You said I spoke gibberish,
meep-meep, meep-meep. You would not understand.
You called me defiant and strapped stones to my feet
(maybe because you thought you would miss me;
maybe because those who wouldn’t buy shares
in this scheme were a threat) so when I finished
my fledging, I hit the road fast and kept running.


Heidi Beck emigrated to the UK from the USA in 1998 and lives in Bristol. Recent poems in Magma, Poetry Ireland Review, Alchemy Spoon and Finished Creatures.