I haven’t written much fiction lately, but I’ve been working on some poetry. And as our own Mr. Mastgrave reminded me this week, a poem can often be a form of telling a story. In my case, I certainly believe that that’s true. Some people are gifted enough that they can write beautiful poems about almost anything, but I can really only bring myself to write one when I have the right inspiration, usually when it has been influenced by something from my life—-a story, if you will.
Later in the week, I may write a post analyzing poems and storytelling a little more thoroughly. For now, I’d just like to share with you some of the latest ones I’ve written. The following is a work in progress born of an emotion inside me, but I didn’t really put it down in words until yesterday–so I reserve the right to edit and change it later on as I revisit it. (But I am planning to unveil it to the public at an open mic night tonight, so hopefully it’s ready enough for that at least!)
I have named this poem “The Wanderer’s Lament.”
Home is not the mattress I sleep on
in a brick building far too uptight
to be anything more than a temporary dwelling.
Home is no longer the four walls
where I talked and laughed with two best friends
right up until everything changed.
Home is not even where my parents live, or my brothers,
or the simpler, more idealistic version of myself
I can still glimpse within my mind,
reading a book or doing homework
in that familiar house ten years ago.
Home is not a past that can never be repeated–
but neither is it the ever-fleeting present
or some hopeful future still in flux.
Home is not a grand adventure
where I crossed the river to chase my dreams
and learn how to grow up a little more
and just maybe begin laying down some roots.
Home is not the winding halls
of the university I still love,
or the classroom where I spend so many hours
to earn a living and hopefully make a difference.
Home isn’t found under a steeple, in a pew,
or even a friendly living room full of smiling faces
with a Bible in my lap.
Home is not my friends,
the ones who have stood by me for years,
or the ones who so graciously welcomed me
into a strange new land.
Home is not any loving community that I’ve found,
or any that I’m likely to find in a week,
or a month,
or a year.
If one day I find love
and build up a family in a house,
if I hold a wife close to me
or cherish the sweet laugh of a child,
even then the home I long for
will still be far from me.
Home will finally quench my deep desire
which nothing in this world can satisfy,
because, most probably,
I was made for another.
I don’t know what home will look like,
but I’ll see it when I go.