the flypaper motel
 she was six, maybe seven
 unbuckled, back seat of the Catalina
 John Coltrane on the radio
 the first time that she passed it
 the Flypaper Motel
  
 words suspended like motes
 Mother’s eyes averted 
 Father's look lingering long
 as it receded to nothing
 in the rear-view mirror
 a speck on dry horizon
 the Flypaper Motel
  
 and there it remained 
 an insect caught in the web of memory
 no co-ordinates, unmapped
 until she ran away from home
 at sixteen, maybe seventeen
 the year her mother died
 hitched a ride, nail polish 
 chipped, mascara smudged
 army surplus bag slung 
 destination inconsequential
  
 raining hard, hair wet, cold 
 on bare shoulder as she climbed 
 into the cab of the hauler
 bulldog on the hood, Desperado 
 on the radio as the driver clasped
 a calloused paw upon her knee 
 told her he needed to pull over
 get some sleep
 didn't look at her at all
  
 she lay awake, eyes open 
 slime between her thighs
 in the blinking neon light
 she’d paid her way that night
 though she didn't have a dime
 the Flypaper Motel
  
 she's back there now, I‘ve heard
 26, 27?  grabbed her kid
 threw the hamster in its cage 
 into the back of the rusty Monarch
 didn't leave a note, just hit the open road
 windows down, Sheryl Crow on the radio
  
 she'd look for a job waitressing or hairdressing
 or something; change her name
 whatever it took to get beyond 
 the range of his long arm
 his sharp words, his
 stinging hand
  
 start over at this deserted place 
 on a road nobody took anymore
 this unknown road going nowhere
 but the Flypaper Motel 
  
   

a pearl in this diamond world … Josephine LoRe has published two collections:  ‘Unity’ and the Calgary Herald Bestseller ‘The Cowichan Series’.  Her words have been read on stage, put to music, danced to, and integrated into visual art.  They appear in anthologies and literary journals across nine countries. https://www.josephinelorepoet.com/ 

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