At your feet
I learned how to hide,
to press everything down,
to roll it up and stick it in the back of the broom closet.

You taught me well
to laugh at barbed wires,
to pretend bruises don’t hurt,
to get up every time I got knocked down.

You tutored me in burying pain,
ignoring sirens,
sweeping dust under carpets,
running out of Dodge.

And when I’d grown
I had strong walls,
an impenetrable heart,
scabby knees
and wings.