A Parallel Life and an Ode to a Tree

I am homesick for our house with the fenced yard,

and the dog we raised for all its life.
For friends I made at birth; we took our first steps together,
and learned how to write our names in the same class.

I am homesick for 12 school years in one school district,
and facing middle school jitters with everyone else.
I would see a familiar face in my science class.
It would be fine.

And I wish I could go back to that first high school date,
after he finally asked me out.
where we drove to the beach, or walked to the park,
or maybe we went to the mall.
What would we have done that day?

And I am nostalgic for a room with painted walls,
the only current of change in my life being the posters,
photos, bedspread, and clothes in my closet.

I miss our family barbecues, with dad at the grill,
and all my parents’ friends laughing in the back yard.
And family vacations.
We had annual passes to Disney Land.

I am homesick, of course,
for the greener grass, on the other side of the hill,
that I will never taste.

A parallel life.

*Before any of you freak out, I’m completely happy having grown up all over the world. It’s just interesting to explore what I did not have by; who doesn’t occasionally wonder what their life could have been like in a different scenario? Of course I would have loved all the things I wrote about above, but I love equally the life I had/have. I’m just lucky enough to know how to use my words to explore the idea.*


Thanks be to the trees
that breathe in what would otherwise
poison us,
poisonous air –
and return it as something clean,
safe.
Thanks be to the trees,
tall,
fat,
wide,
bent,
that have given up everything
so that we might enjoy,
books,
paper,
pencils,
and all the things we throw away
without a second thought at the
fact that we are holding,
were holding,
are throwing away
life,
breath.

 

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