The story went that when I was born
my nose broke when I hit the floor.
At four, I watched my mother stuff
my blankie like a headless twitching body
in our trashcan and tamp it down.
At six, I left play forts behind.
At six and a half, the Brothers Grimm.
(Mother threw out the book—of course—
citing the family violence within).
When I was nine, we left our house
with the basement bomb shelter
and moved near the city dump.
At eleven, I left my childhood friends
for a lipsticked group that roamed our district.
On my twelfth birthday, my father left off
smacking me in favor of a lock on my door
and a snarled-back lip in front of others.
At thirteen, I left, but came back in the dark.
At fifteen, I tried to leave my body
but the fuming nurse refused my wish.
Two years later, I left home again, but
snuck back for a suitcase and stumbled into
a realistic toy gun pointed at my chest.
Luanne Castle‘s Kin Types (Finishing Line), a chapbook of poetry and flash nonfiction, was a finalist for the 2018 Eric Hoffer Award. Her first poetry collection, Doll God (Aldrich), was winner of the 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. A Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, she studied at University of California, Riverside (PhD); Western Michigan University (MFA); and Stanford University. Her writing has appeared in Copper Nickel, TAB, Glass, Verse Daily, and other journals.