R. Miller CC
Home is Not a Place
I’ve lived in rooms inside houses
with walls that shrunk or grew bigger
depending on the time of day,
the amount of light
allowed to peer through tall, lonely windows.
Sometimes the rooms became so small
I needed to shrink myself to fit inside.
Sometimes I needed to walk out the door
and find another home.
Sometimes, because of strong attachment,
I carried the home on my back
and it was not easy
to get out from under the weight.
Today my home is the edge of a leaf
and I am small again
but no longer worried about doors or walls.
the wind is cold and strong
and sends me from the tops of ancient trees
to the earth,
where moss and lichen grow,
or even to the yellow lines of highways
where I am sleepless with worry and dread,
but then a breeze lifts me up
again and again
and I am dancing.
Home is not a place, not a spot on a map,
not a name,
although I’ve been to that place -
I got on a plane, had the window seat,
next to a college girl eager to see a boyfriend
but nervous about flying. When the plane landed,
I wished her well and never saw her again.
Her home was called True Love.
Location: Indiana. Ah yes.
The weather is changing.
Soon it will be November
and dark nights.
I’m thinking about a new home.
I will name it The Absence of Wind.
There’s nothing wrong
with the edge of a bay leaf
tucked inside a plastic jar,
tucked inside a kitchen cabinet,
and oh yes,
we are talking about a room
inside a house.
But a bay leaf stays firm and solid
immersed in boiling water
or cooked under pressure
and taking my sweet time
with a steaming bowl of soup
is just what is needed
Laura Tate’s poem, “Requiem for a Young Boy,” was nominated last year for a Pushcart Prize and for The Best of the Net anthology. She has been writing poetry for many years and belongs to a robust poetry group that meets monthly on zoom. She actively participates in the NPR Poetry Facebook page. Laura is a retired elementary school teacher and a grandmother who lives in the D.C. area with her husband and a small orange cat.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.