Warmth spewing from an open oven

is far from compare

to the warm winter air

drifting through my windows

as I arrive at this McKinley drive.

Next the horse manure, acidic and rotten,

but so familiar

that now it smells sweet.

A smell of a big hug given,

without warning, on Christmas day.

My tires squeak across the snow,

like bare legs descending a slide,

as I thunder over the bridge

where a troll once lived years ago.

Those times are a scene from a dream

to me now, a testament

from someone else.

I have been stolen of my memories,

by the cruel hands of time.

But like the mighty salmon,

I never forget to return.

Making my way up the stream

to the place where I come from.

For this is the place that made me

and I could never forget that much.

Beneath the boughs of pine I grew,

blossoming into whom I’ve become.

I might forget the moments,

but the feelings remain the same;

and I am thrown back into

the jovial youthfulness

from which I came.

Brief Note:

With the holidays right around the corner, for many of us this means a chance to return home. I have been impatiently counting down the days for weeks now, since I feel long overdue of a weekend back in my childhood bedroom and with my family. “Coming Home” was created from the imagined scene of my joyous return, which I have been visualizing more and more recently, to get me through my homesickness. The scenery, smells, and associated stories remain vibrantly clear in my mind, as they composed the diverse landscape for my childhood. Despite living on the opposite side of the state from my hometown, “home” to me will always be the old white farmhouse in which I spent my first 17 years. This is the place that sculpted me into the individual I am now, and I wouldn’t be the same without this specific foundation. Although my childhood memories sadly fade away the older I get, I will always remember where I come from and the country soil in which my roots first began to grow.