I find nothing helps me see the flaws I need to fix or weak spots to work on in my poems like having them published, anywhere. Nothing like hanging the garment up on the public clothes line and stepping back to be able to see that stain the wash missed. So this one here is an oldie, long in the making poem. Or more correctly, never really put through significant revision, which I am trying to do now. Do tell me what you think – comments indicated for my eyes only are treated with utmost privacy.
By Melania Daniel
What do we hope to find
Between eternities of visits
Or since that time we left –
Can we fit in the moults, sloughed
By the tearful parting?
We approach, laden with gifts,
And doubts, and feeble knees,
Wobbling through this hometown.
The corridor between the eyes and memory
Is crammed with tears, nostalgia flutters through the stomach.
Mobbed by airy hellos rushing out of ever-opened windows
We break down in claustrophobia, some withered face is gawking
Vague reminders of yesterday’s camaraderie, names
Dart across the memory, eluding capture for the familiarity
Our greetings lack, our childhood monikers so well-remembered.
A grimy tot sails paper boats on the high tide of a gutter and
Beneath the eyelids school days float by in fuzz, we barefoot
On the melting tar of the only street, still one-way like a sock,
Life in this place a dead-end
Daze of splashing toes in steamy puddles
After copious midday showers, when the hot street’s breath
Clouded on the mirror of a humid day, in night’s slow
Recurring dreams of certain city fortune,
We could not see ourselves in the hazy future of this village.
And there it is, unchanging – home, you squeal,
Eavesdropping echoes question softly, home?
A family reunion awaits you, fumbling
Through initial moments of clumsiness
For what’s right to say, sibling togetherness and laughter
Delicate as the cake baking in the oven, one loose remark
A harmless howl could send this spirit slumping flat.
Concern for the progeny a new flavor
Mother’s fussing over again,
Did she mix the right ingredients? She’s sure
Something unsaid is missing.
Soon we get up to leave,
Regretting to all we have to go so soon
And leave behind the best day of our lives,
But we’ve got to work tomorrow.
I’m thinking with the final wave
It’s no better out there,
Still no comfort here
The voices mutter
And I understand why
Prodigals are wanderers.