On Going Home

Two decades on, you pull me home,
quiet and still by the river,
patiently waiting for my return,
memories to deliver.

Spin around the cloverleaf,
climb down Devil’s backbone,
cruise the strip and park,
and see the savings and loan.

See the old schools and church,
graying, crumbling, fading away,
still tall and solid in your mind,
but nevermore that way.

You set out looking for more,
looking for fairness and love,
saying goodbye to what you knew,
saying goodbye to God above.

The marriage, the house, the job,
it’s all come true, all right here.
But at a cost only you can know,
letting go of things held dear.

I come back with the seasons,
rushing in with the bitter cold,
running to see what has changed,
running to see what has sold.

I’ve come home again, year after year,
looking for the town I cherished,
but the town that raised me
has all but perished.

The schools have all changed,
the old friends moved on,
the sunny beautiful spots in my mind,
grotesquely pawned.

A few bright lights remain,
stones solid and true.
Not for a lack of love or want,
but the familiar are now the few.

I pass through Elm and Letcher,
and Center and Churchill too.
Places I once rested my head,
now dreams will have to do.

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