|Photo by cdsessums, Flickr Creative Commons|
This week’s Monday poetry stretch is to write a poem about home. After the past few years’ missings, leavings and moves, I found these words (and a cat) waiting when I sat down to write.
And as I’ve been memorizing poetry, the latest being Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Kindness,” this poem contains several nods to “Kindness.” Meaning, I stole much of the first line and took inspiration from Nye liberally.
Here’s a third draft of what’s still a work in progress.
Before you know what home really is
you must leave, feel its cool shade thinning
as you drive away. You must spend Sundays
on another couch, catless, no gentle quilt nearby,
no dim room with a narrow bed that knows
your form. Before you learn the density of home,
you must sit alone with your pizza, remembering
neighbors’ front yard games, boys who shrugged
off boundaries, driveway and hedge, tall windows
framing them like curled photos in an album
handed down. You must smell the garlic air,
how it lingered days after the soup was gone
from the chipped white stove, know again
the damp porch step where you heard the moon
whisper, This world is larger than your questions.
You must hum the creak of the faded red door
as you enter another place, empty,
crave the embrace, call Hello?
again, feel it calling you
(c) 2012 Stephanie Parsley
(with nods to Naomi Shihab Nye)