Never again will I have to bear
the shrill of screams
As some pitiful sibling endures a bath.
The mess of a house tearing at the seams,
The grateful hugs of a fragile sister.
Nights cut short by a sharp curfew,
Brothers wrestling as dirt flew,
And you know no one will ever hurt you.
Parents give unwanted advice, incessant
Always treat you like an adolescent.
Home falls far short of ideals.
Less than perfect homemade meals,
Every bedtime raucous with squeals.
Floor festooned with debris, never clean
But at least it’s never empty.
Every week another crisis,
Mom stressing about rice prices,
Laughs absorbed into yellowed sidewalls
Stepping on the floor where a child sprawls.
How can I walk out a door I’ve always walked in?
Where I’ve slept every year since birth,
Where I know every edge and margin
Where six placentas are buried in the garden.
Someday soon I’ll come home,
To walk again the hills I once would roam,
To see if the cracks in the ceiling have moved,
And show somehow my worth I’ve proved.
To meet with my moth-eaten bed so old,
And test if its springs still recognize my mold
Someday I’ll walk as always,
through the same hallways,
Look in the same eyes and see the same worries,
But it won’t ever be the same.