The Runaway

What happened to me
In Nineteen Sixty Three:

I might have grown up hard, but I never turned mean because of it.

   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *


About when I was thirteen, neither of my parents could care for me for a while and none of my other relatives offered to take me in - if they even knew about it!

Anyway, I was left in the care of the state for a time and this poem of mine tells a part of that story...

Karl Stuart Kline

The Runaway


Out of the window and onto my bike,

I didn’t realize that I could hitch-hike...


I was on my way, never looking back,

Trying to get away, leaving all that I had.


Get to the city, get to my sister,

Of all my family, I only missed her.


But I’d never make it.  Suspicious policemen

Didn’t like my answers, so they hauled me in.


I think that my Mom hadn’t much use for me,

I was an unwelcome Responsibility.


I admit she tried, it just wasn’t in her,

An unwanted child, I’d hoped for better...


What I got was incarceration

In a “State School” for “Hospitalization.”


“Station B”, you see, wasn’t for delinquents,

It was our “Bedlam” for loony children.


We didn’t need judge or jury

To lock me up and hide the key!


My dear Mother signed my life away,

If she meant well, it was no help that day


I felt out of place, I was epileptic.

I didn’t deserve this, caged with psychotics!


But it didn’t help to tell them about me.

They just didn’t know where else to put me


Because, at least with “Hospitalization”

I’d be receiving my medication


Nobody cared that my “care” was overrated

I was locked away and so medicated


That nobody knew that I witnessed

Children brutally abused and being harassed


I watched our keepers (They weren’t really nurses...)

Form lines of children with threats and curses...


Then, facing each other, a gauntlet was made,

Sadistic amusement that we couldn’t evade...


Heavyset, dark hair and a menacing look,

He looked like something from a grim storybook. 


A Troll who sent those of us who earned his displeasure

Down this cruel gauntlet to receive full measure


Of cruel abuse at the hands of our “peers,”

Feet, too, getting kicked ‘til the onset of tears,


But tears could never help, they’re a sign of weakness,

Letting the buzzards know when we’re weak and helpless


We couldn’t even cry or ever tell anyone,

We could only take it, staying strong ‘til they’re done


The Troll, ruling by fear, said you’d never go Home,

So if you ever cried, you’d better do it alone...


Copyright 2021. Karl Stuart Kline. All rights reserved.
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