A POEM FROM A BOY MISSING HOME

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Chicago is behind me, I have crossed an icy sea, landed on a grassy tongue of grovel between the rivers Thames and Cherwell.

There are buildings, older than time, older than me, older than the White City, which remind me of the distance, how I mounted a mechanical bird, flew through the sky, rode it until time distorted, now my body yearns for home.

Slept for hours in hope that I would wake back under granny’s roof. And so quickly, has the feeling of home left my fingers, the sounds of sirens, the smell of West side streets.

I heard the voice of the river as I passed a weeping willow. It reminded me that I was a stranger in a strange land, reminded me of my Blackness; I touched my skin. Perhaps, since I am the only one of my kind in this old Victorian home, time will have pity, swaddle me in its arms as I swoon.

Separated by time, space has warped, putting everything, nothingness, a void, tears, absurdity, in between us. A song drones, a bell rings to remind us that its noon,

I awake, this is not home, it will never be, it does not want to be home, it has rejected me. Time has reared its fateful face, shown us that three months of time could feel like an eternity.

If one walks in an old church that has existed, been burned to the ground, and built anew, there is a metaphor of a new place somewhere. I don’t quite understand where. Until I do: pray that Oxford welcomes me more gently.