• Poems

    Micky Shorr: Changing the Narrative

    Micky Shorr

    Changing the Narrative


    This is one of the stories she told. I was almost four, and got angry at her. I decided to run away from home. Mother would explain how she helped me pack. Wished me good luck. Amused at the cuteness of her version.

    What I remember… My feelings have been hurt. I’m voicing my objections. Mother suggests maybe I’d like to run away, could live on the next street with Aunt Lilly. Despite some reluctance I take up the challenge. Tell her yes, I want to do that.

    Excited, she picks out some clothes and a snack. Wraps the items in a kerchief, ties them to a stick, hands it to the little girl I am. Imagines me some hobo in a Mark Twain adventure. She opens the door to the staircase that leads outside, cheerfully wishes me good fortune. Waits while I take a few steps down before she shuts it.

    There I am in that dark hallway, backed into a corner but refusing to back down. I’m working hard to figure it out. How to save myself, not seem weak, but not have to leave.  A solution comes to me, it’s one I can live with. I turn around, climb up the stairs to remind her. I’m not allowed to go into the gutter so I can’t cross the street by myself.

    Years later, my little boy at a similar age, he’s expressing dislike for something I have or haven’t done. I find myself driven to offer him a similar choice  . To run away, live somewhere else. He says yes and for a minute I think I’ll have to keep on with it, have to help him pack and leave.

    Instead I come to my senses. Save myself again. Say that I’m sorry, tell him “I don’t want you to leave”. Tell him “I love you, please live here with me”.


    Micky Shorr is a retired school social worker/psychotherapist. Micky lived in the Hudson Valley, NY for several decades, and facilitated a monthly poetry reading, had some of her work read on public radio, and was a featured reader at local venues, and in the metropolitan area. Micky returned to Brooklyn recently, still misses her garden, but loves getting to see firsthand her grandson becoming himself. Her poetry has been published in Poetrybay, Trailer Park Quarterly, and soon in Wordpeace. Work also appeared in the award–winning anthology A Slant of Life and in Walt Whitman 205 anthology.