Anam Cara

Why do you hide from me when I need you most?

Why would you do that?

Leaving the psychiatric hospital so many summers ago,

my favorite cotton print dress flowing in the wind

that wound its way down a grimmy street in Camden, NJ.

I wasn’t sure how to get home. I took a bus.

The flowers of my dress were my friends.

I needed friends that day.

Somehow I managed to get to the car that my alcoholic

man friend had taken over and I went to the dog pound.

I found a beautiful auburn dog that looked like a strong and happy dingo.

I named her Carmella after a nurse who had been kind to me in the hospital.

I drove with Carmella to the Day Program where my kids were receiving therapy.

We were all so wounded back then.

Carmella saved us from black despair.

The grimmy wind stayed in Camden; it didn’t follow me home even though it tried to cling to my dress.

We went about the day as if it were any other day but I knew

we had reason to celebrate.

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