Poetry on Odyssey: Home

Poetry on Odyssey: Home

Home is where you are loved.

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I'm from a small town in East-Central Illinois and I am very proud of my town, but at the same time I could see where we could do with some improvements. But, I love home enough to admit that I wish the town would allow for improvements instead of basking in the glory days and allowing everything to crumble around us.


Home with your cornfields glowing in the late evening glow

Home with your rolling rows of soybeans shifting in the wind

Home with your smells of barbecue in the summer

Home with your sounds of late-night parties, Selena blasting down the block


Home is driving by someone you may not know but waving anyway because it's just impolite not to

Home is getting pulled over and having a casual conversation about the officer's kids while they ticket you

Home with your autumnal smells of chili and cornbread waiting when I come in from raking the jewel-toned leaves

Home is a visit to the grocery store where you run into your old teachers and they have that look of pride on your face as you tell them how well you are doing


Home is not being ashamed to tell people where you are from (or that you high school mascot is a cob of corn)

Home is where you are loved for who you are and not what you could give

Home is where you are comfortable

Home is a small town in a nowhere county in the Midwest


I love Hoopeston and I hope that it loves me back. I know that with all the travels and endeavors that life may bring, home is where I will always want to come back to, even if purely to replicate the feeling of a warm, ratty security blanket, even if no one really wants me here.

Cover Image Credit:

Andrea Lile

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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The Family I Didn't Know I Needed

To so many, our in-laws and spouse's family can be so annoying and frustrating, but to me they are the biggest blessing.

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I've known my wife for a very long time (since we were a little under 2 years old), and I've known her family for just as long, although not quite that well. I knew of them would be more accurate.

When we started seriously dating (not like middle school dating where you get dropped off at a theater and you're scared to death), I was introduced to her entire family. And it's big.

Look, I come from a small white family, because almost all of my grandparents passed before I arrived. I've never been used to massive families, crowded Christmas', or stuff Thanksgivings and reunions. I've never known really what it was like to be showered with love and gifts and opinions. I also never had to figure out what cousin or aunt or uncle everyone else was talking about.

That is not to say that I wasn't loved or blessed growing up. My family (and loved ones from all around the country) took care of me and loved on me so much, and for them I am forever grateful. I also had my church family (my Dad is a Pastor) that literally raised and supported me, and were always there. So please, do not think I am complaining.

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All you hear about is how hard it is to get along with another family and dynamic, but mine couldn't have been more simple and easy. Sure, we really standout. The average height for her immediate family is like 5'6 or so, and I'm 6'4, so you can always tell I'm the married-in one.

But, if I think about it, if I raised and loved on my wife like they did, I'm not sure I would be so okay with another guy jut waltzing into the picture. If I have a daughter (and I really do), it might be hard to invite another BOY into the family. So, I completely understand where they might have had difficulty. But I especially appreciate the love they chose to show me instead.

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