homes


when my children first ask about all the places i’ve lived
i will weave a story beginning with kellogg street —
tilted electricity poles
a potholed road
the tireless tune of seagulls
and a view of the ocean far too nice for an immigrant family.

i will tell them about murphy’s creek —
scarred knees and dirty palms
a rotating cast of adopted frogs, bunnies, fledglings
the first taste of independence
and the incredible headache their grandfather had trying to keep us reigned in.

i will tell them about the lean-to we constructed in the woods
(haphazardly built, but a team effort)
because that was a sort of home too.

i won’t tell them about the house too far away to be considered home
its walls built up of
crushed cans, split alcohol, suffocatingly warm breaths
not now, not yet.

i will look into their owlish eyes
listen to their tinkling giggles
count each one of their sticky fingers
and remind them that it's possible to make a home in the ones you love, too.

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