Coming Home

Tonight, I will be taking a red-eye flight
from Los Angeles to Manchester.
Probably have a couple hours layover
in a U.S. city along the way.
I will be tired from trying (and failing)
to get sleep on the plane.
I will be smelly from walking
around multiple airports
over a span of 12 hours in the same clothes.
I will be restless in an aisle seat, waiting
for my planes to take off and land.
I will be anxious in the stuffy shared air
as my fellow passengers and I tap
our fingers and our feet in anticipation.
We will politely push and shove each other
out of our way like cattle out of a cage.

I will wave my arm and hand in the air and
smile at my mother when she comes
to pick me up from the Manchester airport.
I will hug her and smell her momma smell
and let her arms wrap around my soul.
In late August as we exit
the air conditioned indoors,
I will no doubt be smacked in the face
by the thickest of humid air.
My eyes will feast
on the New Hampshire surroundings,
taking in all the lush greenery
as we drive towards Northwood.
I will delight in seeing
my childhood home in the distance.
We will swiftly approach the outdoor cage
enclosing a Black Lab and
larger-than-life-horse-sized-Chesapeake Bay retriever.
Their tails will wag and
their barks will bite the air.
Hopefully silence will fill the air
as I exit the car and approach the pups
while calling their names.

I will lug my suitcases from the trunk of the car
to the guest room inside.
My bedroom upstairs
will be calling my name as I climb the stairs.
Pink carpet will embrace my feet
when I reach the end of the hallway.
Printed pink hearts and plaid wallpaper
will close in around me.
I will flop on my bed and hear the creaks
I have memorized over the years
from sleeping and tossing and turning.
My arms will open and fall to the side.
My eyes will be blinded by the clang and clatter
of cluttered walls and desks,
bureaus and vanities, closets and shelves.

Inside my childhood room, my closet
is still full of my old clothes
and my mom’s new outfits.
My bureau’s drawers still hide
socks and jeans, pajamas and tank-tops.
I will pull my the stool out
from underneath the vanity.
I will sit and look into the mirror
at my pink surroundings.
I will remember when and where
I got every single trinket and picture
now dressing my walls.

Most of the Elvis memorabilia I collected
all of my life has already been shipped
to my home in California.
I will still take a gander and try to find
something I can bring back with me.
I will prepare a care package for myself,
carefully wrapping figurines and ornaments.
Sitting Indian-style on the floor,
I will sort through my bookshelf.
Removing invaluable pieces of literature
that I need on my bookshelf in California.
I will locate French-to-English dictionaries
to bring on our European vacation.
I will undoubtedly pause to flip
through photo albums, sparking memories
I thought were long gone.

I will kneel in front of the desk
in my childhood room, sliding open drawers
and exploring cubby holes.
Finding things I thought
I would never need, but saved anyway.
Thinking now that I have a use
for these long lost treasures.
I will reach underneath my bed
and pull out clear containers.
They are full of nick-nacks and diaries,
photographs and stuffed animals,
erasers and note pads.
I will try to obey my mother
and find some things to get rid of,
but probably fail and put everything
back in its place.

Copyright © 2010 N.E. Tasker

This entry was posted on Friday, August 20th, 2010 at 6:00 am and is filed under Poetry. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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