home.

Urban lights bathe alien colours across lifeless snowed decor
And lonely breezes drop a gentle white lace on bare tree limbs,
Reminiscent of the delicate white sheets quietly cloaking the humble [resilient] nude left to her soft
mounds of pillows [to fill the space you once did].
Coffee, humid heating vents, and something sautéed linger on the air from morning to last call
When the image of you saunters home to the lowing sounds of bus brakes and gear shifts, sharp
barks of territorial dogs kept at distance, and fragmented voices that pick up like paper in the wind.
Yet the stiff firs, for all their green, don’t quiet rustle like the leafy pecans on a mild March night
And empty bottles rolling across the pavement don’t quite sing like the chimes on the porch in a lazy
spring Sunday’s soft breeze.
But dismiss the thoughts with the taste of vodka still on the back of your tongue, tighten the coat,
and convince there’s something redeeming in all this used and [crowded] barren space.
But, if you pause for a moment in the warmth leaking from that door, take just a second before re-
entering that stage… close your eyes and breathe…
– Oh, can’t you hear it?

Like a long lost first love, the land is calling you back to her,
Promising scents of spring throughout the year
And batting lashes of long grass fields.
Her body rolls, dips, and sighs with the wind,
Hugging the sweet sunlight like a summer dress
On the woman’s thighs that someday your children will cling to –
Perfumed in the morning by dew and fresh budded grass, and in the dusk by home-cooked meals
and the setting sun’s kisses breathing on the earth.
She’s traditional, but fresh, all at once
And chatty in the pattern of birdsong and laughter –
A little less interesting than the northern city’s many facades
But her faith in earnest runs as deep as the dirt
Turned over by many rough hands and reshaped by those that tried to love her before.
Here is a home you knew first.

And here is the home that will hold steadfast and patient
Until your explorations of the world reach a point of self-satisfaction.
While you scale sky scrapers and networking ladders
And snack on delicate pastries and fine wines mimicking exotic pleasures,
This is the home that will be home when you’re ready to tell the stories of how you’ve seen it all
And done the unthinkable:
Traveled Europe by the map of your stomach
Took a dive in foreign waters bluer than your eyes
Or stood face to face with Lincoln and Jefferson in the same day
And all the meanwhile, this home will patiently keep your secret and her pride
Quiet and slow to reveal that there’s no place quite like
the home of a cool October breeze that plays on still green leaves;
quite like that of the hot August night that persuades work to wait another day;
of the soft green grass of February that welcomes barefoot walks where a week before there was snow and ice;
and absolutely no place like the home of the love and two arms made especially just for you, all year round.

The world offers your spirit adventure, ensnares your mind’s imagination with stories untold,
and, heaven help you, may those wonders never lose their enchantment.
But, lest you ever come close, don’t ever forget:
this home will always hold your heart.
[And she waits for you]

(2011)

image

Give Sharkey a piece of your mind.

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