Where Once I Lived (a poem)

I left my hometown

driven away, like cattle, beyond the borders

of all I knew and cherished

Behind me, streets lined with quaint shops

flower gardens where bees hummed, honey flowing

shrinking in the rearview mirror

and I, lump in my throat

stumbling toward the unfamiliar

new cities that rise like mountains toward the sky

Time drifted and spun

until one day

with lump in my throat

memories echoing in my mind

I revisited my stomping grounds

but found only empty streets lined with faded shops

that sold goods I no longer needed

stench of old bourbon and cigarettes

tangled, thirsty gardens

and houses I’d long outgrown

Shriveled faces peered out from behind closed curtains

stubborn fists shaking at changing weather

So I left again

leaving old bricks and yesterday’s dust

heading nowhere in particular

waiting for no one

for I had become the new city

rising like a mountain toward the sky