Meryl Natchez

Picking Up Tulley at the Movies

As soon as he’s not in the lobby,
I know it’s happened. Who could resist
this antic boy, flesh furred and golden,
head bristly with his new buzz cut.

In the fluorescent glare of the mall
all I can see is the hand
gagging his mouth, boy legs
thrashing the frantic air.
I search the MacDonald’s the Thrifty’s,
my eyes so filled with it, I can’t even see
my son, eating popcorn,
five inches to my right, till he calls: Mom
twice. He's not even wearing
what I would have described to police.  
I touch him. 
He gives me the look. He's utterly

As we walk to the car, I hear 
my grown children laughing
far in the future.
She thought I was kidnapped, again.
They laugh and laugh till their laughter
engulfs me, carries me off
to a movie where the children are always safe.