There was never any drawing paper. We
stole the cardboard that kept our father’s
pressed shirts stiff— careful not to separate
straight pins that fastened the sleeves to
shoulders. We were stealth, trying
to ply the pine drawers open with-
out a squeak, knowing Mother was fast
asleep in the next room.
We gave each other that look as we tip-
toed down the staircase to a room where
we hid with bald-faced lies that became
drawings of the orphanage, of running
away with a red leather suitcase filled with
vinyl 45s & a week’s worth of underwear.
We’d get as far as Petrossi’s barn &
settled in their stable on a mound of hay.
We’d lie there, listening to horses’ slow
breath & considered what would happen
if we answered the black phone
ringing off its hook.
M.J. Iuppa, Director of the Visual & Performing Arts Minor Program and Lecturer in Creative Writing at St. John Fisher College, and a part-time lecturer in Creative Writing at The College at Brockport, was awarded the New York State Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching, 2017.