Saturday, March 21, 2009

Going Home Again (You Can't)

They say you can't go home again
it feels so trite until you try it
reaching down so deep it
cuts your very soul

We came home again last weekend
back to a fishbowl of places we don't remember
faces we barely recognize
holed up in a hotel in our own
hometown, the entire family of seven with spouses...


Then a trip to the farm
our father's birthplace -
I remember from babyhood.

No one else did.

It seems we all have memories
seperate in age and growth
but feel the need to get back
to where we have those
first memories.

Mine are the oldest.
I felt discounted. Mine didn't matter.

I remember the smoke house, now gone.
I remember and regailed the youngest grandgirls
of the black snake skin hung over the cellar door...
the cows in the barn-the chickens in the coop where colored
Easter chicks found their home....later their demise for Sunday

Had to catch myself when I became so overwhelmed with
memories I wept. Not a good thing on a happy occasion, but I'd not been back since my Grandfather died, and had only visited
in my dreams.

Look, there is the barn. I remember rowboating as a girl, not much
bigger than you, and catching fish in this river!
I remember corn as tall as grandpa! I remember tomatoes that filled
both hands. I remember running until your feet hit the chestnut hulls and
squeeling in pain!

I remember chestnut trees. I wonder if anyone else does.

No. You can't go home again. It's never the same.

Even if the Chestnut tree trunk is there, and the house has been re-roofed, and the windows have been changed.

The boxwoods are gone. The smoke house has been destroyed.

...Yet, as I looked out over the hill at the barn, I could drop to my knees and visualize it as a five year old and remember.


Karen said...

Yay! You're writing again! It must be hard to be the repository of memories that no one shares. So far, I have my siblings for that.

It sounds like you have a wonderful set of memories, and one way of remembering them is to write them down as you have done here. I'm sure there are wonderful stories to share, too.

I love the way you tell this with the little ones as your audience.

Glad to see you back. Hope you are feeling better!

Unknown said...

Yes, it is never the same. Memories have a place in time - glad that you are preserving them.

J.J. said...

I know how much this trip meant to you. I'm so glad you were able to experience 'home' again with your family.

I felt like I was there with you, reading every word eagerly and seeing you, as a child, running through chestnut hulls, tomatoes spilling from both your hands. What beautiful memories.

ellenkey said...

Oh, I have never put the pain down in words. It is so personal to "go home again." I see you included your siblings and their spouses. Ouch.

Your writing so very clear. Personal memories that were just that, personal and not your siblings. Our family members all have their own perspectives, memories through eyes of their own ages and thoughts of what is/was important to remember.

The weirdness of having to be in a hotel and not have a "home" to sleep as you visit. I have just done all that a while ago.

Your short short really struck me. As always, your words have a true rhythm, carefully crafted and I do miss your writing.

I hope you write more often.

Miss our AOL Instant Story days very much.

Ellen Key ( Instant stories group long ago.)