Spring, 1999 (revised)

There is a house on the South Side of Chicago,

home to a four-year-old girl.

A house with a bright green lawn, freshly mowed,

and two large bushes in front.

You can often see flowers growing in the ground

underneath them.

The image of this house I completely contrary to the truth

 

This building was compiled of bricks, cement and large windows

and did not feel like home to my four-year-old self.

This building was made on a foundation of betrayal.

This was no home to me.

The mortar between the bricks is soft and eaten away

by insects; this house is falling,

sinking,

towards the ground—my home is no more.

 

My stocky black hair whips across my baby skin,

with tears heavy enough to drag me towards the ground.

The birds were singing again,

and the sun was hiding behind a cloud.

This weather signifies new beginnings, but this house

without the home of my father’s arms was the end of all.

My four-year-old self cries for her father, she wails for him,

asking why he cannot stay in this strange house with her.

Her father comforts her as she cries

 

We will be together soon, he says

 

Her delicate heart could not comprehend why

he must do this, why he has to leave. She was

trying to understand why her world must come to an end.

 

As he walked away, she listened to the heel-toe click of his footsteps,

and thought to the beat of his step

there’s no place like home

                        there’s no place like home

                                    there’s no place like home

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