Author's Note: Robert Frost says, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” My poem, “She’s going to go through some things,” is dedicated, at least in this version, to those in Ukraine whose homes and lives have been put in such mortal danger . Thanks to publisher and pal Betsy Mars for giving it a second life in her fine anthology, Floored, published by Kingly Street Press.
When I get lost on my way back home I wander the streets I’ve lived to see who’s living now, since even thinking hard as I might, I can’t recall who was before. I drive to a place I could ill afford-- slate roof, chimney pots, forbidding turrets overlook the street, but with a homey, lived-in look-- blinds somewhat askew, half-timbers needing paint, the lawn dug up in places that never had a hole. Drunk on hope, I knock on a door that with some luck might open up to a world of well-worn lives, comfortable faces. I could welcome myself. Make myself at home. Take off my shoes and skate across the floor. I wait a while in this dream of home before I recall who I am, and not, and quickly turn to go-- which quells the neighbors’ consternation, quiets the dog who had been barking, eases the hopes and fears of the child peeking through the blinds. Hung over on regret, I stumble to the curb, suspicion fully restored: my life is not about to change no matter where I go-- random houses, the place I call home, or anywhere I’ve ever dreamed or known. I’m only somewhat heartened when the postman hands me the mail, asks how I’ve been and where in Hell I’ve been hiding.
Originally published in River Poets Journal
"She’s going to go through some things"
From the day she was born, we knew this would happen— and kind of figured that might happen, too. It even made us smile in anticipation, as if life might truly be an adventure— though it’s not always what we believe, it’s what we want to teach her. Sure, there’d be the teething, the testing, the travail of long division, apartments without heat, cold floors of unkindness, plenty of tears—friends moving away, break-ups, dishonesty in those we’d trusted. Maybe even losing a job unjustly— so much might happen that demands recourse where there finally is none. What’s sort of true: life’s as sad as we make it, and as happy too. Humans will do evil things, from indifference or intent— and still we move on. It’s in the moving— and doing what we know is right, that just might be enough.
First appeared in The New Verse News, later in Floored, Kingly Street Press
©2022 Alan Walowitz
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