Comment on this article

Look Homeward
by Janet Leister

A stone, a leaf, an unfound door
it leads me to the search
which has no end
for the thing I seek
no longer exist

the Chamber of Commerce and I
have differing definitions of "progress"
to me it is the cycles of nature,
birth, decay, rebirth,
the thickening mulch on the forest floor,
brown, soft and fecund,
the flooding of the creek,
the wind in the trees
mimicking a rushing river

the giant oak tree
on whose limbs we sat
daring each other
to swing down with the fraying rope

the creek where we caught periwinkles,
built unseaworthy rafts,
engineered dams,
and searched in vain for minnows and tadpoles
desiring new accommodations

now fenced off
chain link and barbed wire
stands between me and the child I used to be
amid signs warning
dire consequences
should we trespass

the pasture where our neighbors
kept their horses
and the barn where I learned
to love the earthy, steamy smell of them,
of their coats, the clean straw in their stalls,
the musky smell of leather saddles,
even their manure because
it was part of the package
now sprouting two-story McMansions

even the forest
where we forged new trails
climbed giant fir trees
and sat on the branches all afternoon
knowing what a crow knows when it alights

even the forest,
a formerly impenetrable
place to hide for an hour
when I wanted to run away from home
now reduced to the occasional tree
and manicured landscaping

even the forest,
where our poor old
hound dog, Lonesome, was buried,
now under someone's patio

a stone, a leaf, an unfound door

Look homeward angel
search in vain
for the long lost vision
I search for myself
but now am only a ghost
kept alive

by what I was


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]