Definitions of Home

Here I am not living out of a suitcase,
here are my old sweat pants,
my dog,
my Scrabble board,
the ashes of my father.

Here I do not need to explain my silence,
here I can eat standing up
if I want,
here are all the memories
of the smells
of my children’s childhoods.

Here is the indoors
where outdoors was prairie,
Minnesota pine,
an urbanscape of Manhattan, Boston,
the seacoast of Seacoast.

Here is my Toad Hall
where I bring comfortable friends,
at least one flower of which I have become
too fond,
a rabbit shabby and real.
Here is the back of the closet

from which I go somewhere else.

And for you — what are the definitions of home? … and for the refugee? and for homeless gay and lesbian teens in those urbanscapes cast out by their parents? and for the stray dog and the feral cat? and for the elder moved abruptly into even the kindest of facilities, much less the other ones?

First I celebrate, to get my heart open. Then I am amazed at how many take up residence there. Finally I know I need to change the world … outside my door, my “here.”

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