This is not your home.

Home is not a cleansing breath on the sun deck on your summer rental.

Home is not a snapshot of the tide lapping at your Seafoam Sparkle pedicure.

Home is not a cold beer on your sun-cracked lips, skin tight with saltwater, hair starched with salt.

Home is a fingernail you split when you slapped your trunk shut, six plastic bags looped around your elbow.

Home is an alarm so harsh you stand in the shower massaging your jaw open.

Home is the ache of cold sheets on your swollen feet.

Home is not a towel on the hot sand.

Home is the sink you clutched as your mother cornered your first-grade sister with a hairbrush.

Home is the weathered rope your dog shook like a dead rat.

This is not your home.

Home is a line of slow traffic you watch through a dusty screen.

Home is a mosquito bite on your ankle you scratch until you bleed.

Home is where you mow the lawn,

Bury your father,

Christen your nieces.

Home is a backpack leaden with voices

Whispering, “So, go.”

Photo by Tuce on Unsplash

Teacher, reader, writer, adoptive mother, animal lover, nature appreciator.

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