She was always warning me to stay or not leave. I was always striking out at first or maybe third. New freckles on my shoulders, me thinking leaving and not staying could be different. She was always asking if I needed a ride around the corner or to Dad's. I was always pulling the grass up by its roots with the weeds or the flowers, wondering if I could go just a minute faster alone on the side walk with my flip flops. She was always doing the dishes or working late. I was always leaving the dishes in the sink or on the table. Minivans in every driveway, me thinking these little rows of houses were hell.
She was always re-folding my pants in boxes I had already packed or planned to. I was always packing with no where to go or stay, headphones on and blaring, planning for bright lights and buildings taller than the oak out back.
She was always going through a tunnel on the phone or catching a cold. I was always out of money or friends. Graffiti on the wall of my building, nothing but a bed and a hotplate inside- paradise. She was always sending money or boxed macaroni. I was always tucking my hair behind my ears like her when I saw her calling or remembered to. Sirens at night still keeping me up, me wondering about the verb to acclimate. I was always missing the bus or train or her. She was always going nowhere or somewhere but not here.