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Coming Home - A Poem

Updated on February 29, 2020

My parents bought this house in 2002, nearly a decade after our nuclear family unit's move to Tennessee. Since then, I've moved back in with them five times, each time under circumstances that were life-changing. Now, almost a decade later, I sit in my parent's house, ready to change my life in big ways yet again, and I'm taking some time away from sorting through my material possessions to reflect. This poem is dedicated to my parents, to whom I owe a great deal of thanks and respect, and from who I have learned some of my greatest life lessons.

About the picture: This picture was taken today, and is the visual that sticks in my head when I think of home. Funnily enough, I took this picture with a camera my brother gave me, in a nightgown (mumu, really) that my mother sewed for me in the bedroom that used to be mine (for many years now that room has been my mother's sewing room.)

Photo Copyright: Charlotte Anderson 2011
Photo Copyright: Charlotte Anderson 2011

Coming Home - The Prose

The life of a child is one of tumult, one of chaos, like most human beings. The life you provided me uplifted during my weakest hours, twisting the frayed ropes I suspended myself from and smoothing the crackling strands into useful, purposeful lengths again. Through husbands and poverty, disagreement and irresponsibility, you were a shelter from all the misfortune and misdeed, a solid space where nothing could harm me. I fought returning more than once, I couldn't fathom the embarrassment of having to be that person. The one who lives with mom and dad, proverbially in the basement, seen as little more than a drain, a mooch. You taught me better, you brought me up, you gave me a few square feet of space and I find, father, mother, that I've grown by miles because of it. Arms ever open, embracing what was brought into the world, reaffirming with every day the love and life that was provided. I have gratitude, I have respect, I have honor for the house, for the dream and the work that gives me this constant sense of home. I find solace, true respite, in this atmosphere of abundant love, delighting in each waking moment found in the fort that this house has become. Forever nurtured, each time I fly away, I know the value of family, I know the succor of the unit, I know deep and abiding appreciation of the very things that are most important. A refreshment of spirit, a rejuvenation of soul, with no expectation other than to grow, to heal, to mend and move forward. Coming home is a sacred event I do not take lightly, but take great joy in the process of. I love you, Mom. I love you, Dad. I love you, Home.

Author's Note

As I become an increasing fan of the art of free-flow, free-thought literary works, I find my style changing. Some of the most beautiful published works I've put into the world of late have been barely scripted works that have touched deeply rooted places of evocative emotion from which so much in the way of healing has been inspired. I'm glad to share this piece, in total dedication to my parents, whose lifelong struggles have afforded opportunities to shelter me in times of turmoil. I hope that this behavior continues far beyond my generation, and should I ever have children, I hope that I can afford them the same graciousness and generosity.


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