Poem: On Leaving ( ) Behind

Aaminah Shakur
2 min readApr 24, 2017
Image description: A small black pitbull with a large, pink silk rose on her head, laying on tan shag carpet.
Image description: Poem, On Leaving ( ) Behind, by Aaminah Shakur; plain/unformatted text below

On Leaving ( ) Behind, by Aaminah Shakur

Does every child have that time / Bags packed, running away from home / Mom lets you go and you walk down the sidewalk / Feeling both puffed up with pride and anger / And very very very small in this very large world / You have entered to make your point / Until you realize you don’t know where to go / And you forgot your favorite ( )

I opened the car door and I ran until I knew / She wouldn’t find me even if she was looking / Then I went to my friend’s house who I knew would let me in / She hid me in her basement for a couple hours first / Then brought me up to her spacious bedroom / I had nowhere else to go / And nothing with me for school the next day / I borrowed ( ) from my friend / And went in like nothing had changed / Made it almost two weeks before someone told

In between there was the stash at another friend’s house / We had bags packed but constantly being added to / I remember it was hard to decide which cheap jewelry / It was important to take with us but still wanted to be able / To wear until then / And a bag of Tylenol I can’t recall why we thought we needed / Someday we would leave ( ) behind / New York was the dream / “No one says ‘when I grow up I want to be a junkie’” / The tv solemnly said / But I did want that if it took me away from ( )

I have run with everything packed it all up in a rush / And disappeared like I had never been there / I have run with nothing without time to gather thoughts / Much less possessions / I’ve run with what I could grab, systematically trying to / Make sure I didn’t forget certain ( ) / I have run from ( ) with no idea what to run to

I have left behind more ( ) than I can count / Put what you will in that slot, I have left it / Left my own mind more than once too / Without looking back