Creative Writing

Home, Etc.

By Katherine Bennett

Home is a whirlwind
It’s a simple word with the most complex undertones 
It’s a division, a distinction, a word to be wary of
It should be easy – natural
But it comes with a price.   

Home is packing boxes
– Constantly packing those fucking boxes 
Moving trucks, lost furniture, and broken pottery 
Unpacking, redecorating, resettling
Just to tear it down again.  

Home is vine-ripened tomatoes and baby frogs and stray cats 
Dirt lanes and horse pastures and old cabins
Overpriced apartments and greedy landlords
Skylights and sketchy neighborhoods with fast roads 
Where no one pays attention to the speed limit.  

Home is the rustle of wind through fragrant pines 
Backyard creeks and salty, sun-kissed skin 
Playing in the dirt and playing in the rain 
Hurricanes and thunderstorms and all the things 
That are supposed to be scary.  

Home is a paradox
It is the rhythmic ocean waves with murky depths 
Open countryside and no-trespassing signs 
Walking on sand or walking on eggshells 
Creating stability when nothing is ever certain.   

Home is a comfortable bed – or maybe a lumpy couch 
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on Christmas
The smell of spices and haphazard birthday cakes 
Bike rides and car drives and waving at passersby 
Perfume and Dove Original Deodorant and oil paints. 

But most importantly,
Home is the friends and family from far away 
The two a.m calls from different time zones 
Social media updates and awkward Snapchats 
Cheesy letters and carefully packaged cookies 
Sweet reunions and endless laughter
As if no time has passed since we were last together.  


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