Home is what you return to when you’ve been away,
It’s where you end up, after Texas and Vermont, say,
when there’s no place else
to play,
calling you back, again and again, to that comfortable
space, that familiar ground,
a place that draws a contented smile even though
there may be no one else around.
It’s not that each room conveys a perfect story,
sweet with memories of a blissful past,
far from it, but as ugly as the memory might be,
it’s still his story, his to tell, always will be,
to the last.
Yes, yes, says his muse, we can see:
The home is where the house is.
But what’s the case
when the “last” arrives, becomes first,
and his house of thirty years, is up for sale
and sells. Stemming from curiosity’s thirst,
His muse has to ask, can the opposite fail
to be true: The house is where the home is?
Ultimately, he thinks now, in the 90th year
of his lengthening journey, that both are true,
have their place, are dear,
the home is where the house is at one point, and then,
later, the house becomes where the home is
a natural progression, not out of joint at all
with time, when moving toward the light.
For what, he asks, is the source of his familiarity,
the comfort of his surroundings, making the old home,
Is it not, at root, the meaning his own experience
and creativity have attached to where he is?
Are not the stories, his stories, emerging,
bubbling out from within?
Alas, has he not but stumbled upon
the oldest of adages: Home is where the heart is?
Home can exist anywhere.


Endnote: I woke up yesterday morning with the poem’s first line already in mind which led then to the question of what happens when your home’s sale take you to some place different and new, the old comfort and familiarity suddenly absent, gone with the switch. It reassured me to recall that the historic pieces I have purchased or inherited, and other things, are all items I have invested with stories out of my own memory and creativity. My identity is not compromised by their physical absence.

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