Definitions of home
Here I am not living out of a suitcase,
here are my old sweat pants,
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,
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
a rabbit shabby and real.
Here is the back of the closet
from which I go somewhere else.
Set me on a rock that is higher
It is Indian summer at Starved Rock
and October heat dusts ash leaves
and oak, as I climb
the long stairs
to the sandstone butte
where a band of Illiniwek fled,
and were surrounded and trapped
by Ottawa, Potawotami.
The summit is beautiful
and I can see for miles —
the river below flows swift and blue,
splitting at Plum Island,
the sanctuary for bald eagles.
Sometimes the issue is not so much
how far I can run,
but how high.
Sometimes I wonder
which hiding place is safe,
which hiding place will kill me.