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A Sense of Place

Six years, the longest I have ever been
in one spot without moving out and on,
and still this place does not possess my bones
the way it would if I had come of age,
or taken my first steps, read my first book,
lost my virginity or first paycheck,
under these spreading, great magnolia trees,
through hurricanes and floods and summer’s heat.
My ties are severed to those memories;
there is no real connection back to where
the formative in me began to set,
to where grandparent’s porch-swings gently rocked,
or drifted snow blew up against the house
so high it blocked the window of my second story room.
There is no chain between me and the land;
what sacred space I ever found is gone.
And even when I visit, after years and miles away,
only their ghosts, if that, remain as shadows.
As always, disconnected from my peers,
whose constant habitations in one sphere
I wished to share, but never had the chance,
the sense of place in me is hollowed out.
At home, but homeless, my spirit abides
in pieces cast among my former selves;
How long before I call this city “mine”,
and recognize its rhythm as my own?

2 AUG 2005

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