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Escape

Susan Donnelly

I was thinking this morning
of Ron’s young wife,
who more than thirty years ago
climbed, on a summer day like this,
with her four-week-old daughter
up the iron rungs
at the side of a water tank
on a hill above 128.
She must have struggled,
balancing the baby
over the chain link fence,
set the child down for a moment
to free a caught shirt,
then waded through brambles
to the tower.  Hoisting
the two of them onto that ladder
would have been nearly impossible,
but for her great need
to get out of this world.
The body’s legs were scratched,
the palms raw and rusty.
A rag doll lay deep in the grass.
Everything she did that day
was the hardest thing
she’d done, but it felt easy.
The door of the car stood open.
She left no note.