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IR Online Poetry: “To Heidi” by Shyanne Marquette

“To Heidi

by Shyanne Marquette

I wanted to run away with you.
You’d calmly smile and say
if you can’t count the spokes on the wheels
the train is going too fast to jump on.
There is too much to know about
your alternate life.
—Of the tracks on your skin or
how hospitals make you jumpy even though
you’ve taken more pills than
I can even pronounce.
I ask for your story and you hand me a novel.
You tell me not to bother being careful with it,
that the seams will come apart anyway,
like the time you broke your sister’s arm
when you told her that the branch was stable.
You’d just move that vibraphone mouth
and any word was music.
You couldn’t wait to outrun the
ostrich at the fair those many years ago
and you would have won too
with nothing but your flip-flops.
It’s almost not enough to ask for
you to run away with me.
There is too much life to live,
too many things to do.
I ask you again, and you just laugh
and say that five floors isn’t enough to kill you.


Shyanne Marquette is currently a sophomore Creative Writing major at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is majoring in fiction but plans to double major in poetry as well. Her poem To Heidi is based on Shyanne’s family friend whom she idolizes in her strength and perseverance.