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Home Off the Path


There is a shell on this table
That makes me think of Giselle,
Her island always bright in her words.
If she were here she would not have spread
All these things from the sea on an orange tablecloth,
Fake fall leaves in a misplaced arrangement.
She would have known to have the fronds
Of palm trees, real mangoes, nothing fake
That doesn’t belong, but these people
Here don’t know. They are from Texas and
Tornadoes and don’t think about what really goes
With their gathering of shells.
They need a Giselle to tell them or
A me to speak up and paint a real picture of home.
We were told to write on healing silence cloaked
In something else but I am in her poems
Instead of this cold room.
All I can think of is her house, people everywhere,
Home sounds seeping in for times like now when
I want to be somewhere else. Home
Is the voice of a young girl with
A woman’s wisdom, not knowing
That when her mouth opens every God
Stops to listen. Home is three sisters
Folded into one on a couch,
Six arms and six legs forming one force
You’d be crazy to cross. Home
Is two brothers giggling, boys
In man bodies sharing one chair,
Unable to keep their joke a secret.
Home is shoes kicked off and feet on furniture–
Because at home no one behaves like guests–
Everyone is put to work–roll the dough,
Wash the lettuce, mix the fire drink
To make all our thinking clearer.
Someone offers a piece of their soul and
Laughter is loud and unrestrained.
Someone offers a piece of their soul and
Tears are loud and unrestrained.
This is the picture of home I’d like to paint but
Others may call me rude for breaking workshop rules,
Not knowing someone else
Already showed me metaphor.

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