Leaving

By Richard Baldasty

You and I, we left Escondido in early spring. Trees already thickly green, afternoons warm enough to pull arms from sweaters, tie sleeves into a shawl draped loosely across shoulders. We were heading north, following the coast as birds do, flighty like clouds. No suitcase, only backpacks full of books and protein bars and a few small oranges. We had no plan. What is a plan at seventeen? The point was simply to go, to go and then go farther, go far as going is possible. Canada. Alaska. Places we only knew from maps and dreams. You said we could find work whenever we needed a little money. I wasn’t as sure. But I loved the lore of freedom, the fever fuel we traveled on. I had seen people leave just so in movies, watched them rise in the dark, tiptoe from a sleeping house, and hit the road, sometimes even barefoot. Those scenes, a kind of koan. Trust and mystery. Riddle and request. You and me. Leaving in the spring.

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Richard Baldasty is a writer and collagist who lives in Spokane, WA. Recent work appears online in Spelk, Eastern Iowa Review, and Club Plum.  On Twitter @2kurtryder.

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