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David M. Alper


David M. Alper is a high school AP English teacher in New York City, residing in Manhattan. His work has appeared in Thirty West Publishing House, OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters, Glassworks Magazine, and elsewhere.

Lunch Before You Leave

She was a serial runaway // eight or nine, traveled light // could have been important // had she
ever made it farther than the front steps // used pillowcase as her bindle // a cracked baseball bat
as her stick // string lashed the two together // the bindle contained her toothbrush and paste //
pajamas // piggy bank in a sock // small saucepan // matches // can of beefaroni // and if
remembered // a can opener and spoon // she paused on the front steps // to contemplate the
injustices that compelled // her to leave // couldn’t recall her parents’ offenses // did recall the
newness of standing up for herself // her mother once brought her several stamps // as she sat on
the steps // “please write us” // a passersby, seeing her bindle, stopped to chat // understanding
what she was up against // the mailman said he’d never thought // of using a pillowcase for his
bindle // the aggrieved look on her face // was beginning to slip // when her mother stuck her
head // through the door // “lunch before you leave?” // by the time she finished dessert // it
seemed late for starting a trip // she would leave the next morning // if she remembered to
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