lullaby we stole our fathers shoes, the heaviest ones. each of us cradled one like a baby-- told them to hush. we escaped by the light of the fireflies who followed us down into the closet at the end of town. where have you gone & never come back? this is a story of failed elopement. the weight of show in my arms, my brother lagging behind as the world oscillates between tundra & thick tall brush, the shoe infant fussing while i told it stories i remember from when i was just a single right appendage. all textbooks have lied about the growth of humans. we grow from our hands. i was first a pinky, then a thumb then followed all the rest. the shoes get heavier as we go. my brother, clutching the shoe to his chest & listing all the light object he can think of. he says feather feather gust of wind a single leaf until the boot is as managable as air. we are not sure what we will do when we get to the closet. we did not see this on TV. i havea duck call in my pocket made from a single blade of grass. a great goose might arrive & shelter us beneath her wings. my brother asks me why are father is our father & i tell him no one is sure where the first father came from but they are sure there was no turning back. even the trees have fathers. the only creature without fathers is the fireflies & look at how they glow. they whisper in a secret language & i tell my brother we should study it. he says it's best to let secrets remain. this is the difference between him & me. he holds the shoe tight until it stops sobbing. i put the single shoe on & stomp around in the dirt. the closet has a chandelier & a dirt floor. the closet was made slightly askew. when i say we needed to hide i mean we had no idea where the edge of town was. somewhere my dad was looking for his children. he was slicing the night to pieces with a flashlight. we are terrible runaway children. hearing him laugh, limbs fell off trees. the boots broke into wails. hush, yes hush we said until there was no sound & the closet doors cradled us by its handles.