Fiction & Poetry, Poetry

Escape Artist

Written by Laura Lees


My hands have not stopped shaking for two days now,

My bones ache and my breath catches,

And butterflies try to erupt from my chest.

When you live in a house that is permanently on fire,

You learn to fall in love with the cold,

Drive with the windows wound down in the winter.

I drive as much as I do because I cannot run,

Fly South down the motorway with dreams of the West Bay,

The crash of waves against the cliffs, extinguish the flames in my mind.

Or do I head Northbound? Back to the beginning?

Throw me into the loch and watch me sink,

Memories of Largo Law and shouts of my name.

Escaping is an art form I have not yet perfected,

Try to untangle the web of connections: can you ever truly disappear?

Take the memories of your home with you.

Chained into my seat at a pantomime I do not want to attend,

I am forced to watch the scene play out in front of me, repeat my lines, β€œhe’s behind you!”

I cannot entertain this anymore, but I am stuck.

To escape the bonds that hold me here is impossible,

They locked me in a box, threw away the key,

Told me to sit still whilst the magician brings his saw.

I am still young, I am no Houdini,

I am still trying to sort which parts of me are actually mine,

And which I have borrowed from the people I loved.


Laura is a Msc Management student, BA English graduate and resident of South Leicester. She enjoys poetry, local news and reading.

Feature image provided by @ellajohnson8