P – Week 6 Poem – Homecoming?

The locals all think we’re wild gypsies

–and maybe some of us are–

“watch your wallets and hide your daughters.”

They know the men by their muddy work boots

and eternal sunburns, by eyes lined

too deeply and too young

from squinting into the sun twelve hours a day.

They know the women by the big pickup trucks

we drive, too large for our frames, but just right for

pulling a small house down the interstate every few weeks.

We leave the powerful diesel engines running

when we stop at the bank or for a carton of cigarettes

or gallon of milk.


Even though this is all pretend,

even though I am wearing a costume and

playing a part,

even though I’m not really here,

I want this. This life.

The freedom of space, of a movable place

to call home.

I want this life I walked away from

so long ago.

They say you can never go back and

I never thought I wanted to, but

is it going back if it’s on my own terms,

this time?


I’ve always enjoyed being an outsider and

am rarely at home in the spaces I inhabit,

but I am at home here, without a home,

in this mobile life of everywhere and nowhere,

where the view from your front door

changes overnight and your little piece

of the sky follows you down the highway

with every change of address.

The open road has been calling me

my whole life, but I wouldn’t answer,

afraid of what would happen if I listened

and let go, but now I have my map and my compass,

I can read the signs in the sky and in my heart.

If every road leads me back to where I want to be,

why don’t I just get in the car?

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