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There is a place that I go sometimes

But I cannot take you there

Not really

For it only exists in my mind

Many steps back in time

It is the one place that is mine alone

 

There are many trails that lead me to

The old wood frame house

Across the field from the mill pond

Beneath a massive oak tree

It is the place I fled in my youth

It is the place I have longed for in later days

So I revisit it in my mind, and seeó

 

Perfect springs days, the greenest of green

Flourishes in the trees, breathing out

The freshest of spring air

Perfumed Honeysuckle blossoms draped across

Rusted barbed wire, reaching toward

The wild hedges by the pear tree

Its limbs splitting from the weight of its fruit

Farther back still, on the slope of the hill

Through the backyard's low hanging Spanish moss

Through scrub oaks and broom sage

Stand the old and twisted live oaks

My place of sanctuary and solitude

My place for many dreams

 

As my mind's eye rises high in the air

I can see the many faces of

The house and the sheds around it

How the landscape of the place changed over the years

How it looked the last time I saw itó

It does still existódid I tell you?

I mean the actual property and the house

But in the material sense, it belongs to others now

My family and I merely living ghosts

Who pretend we never lived there

 

But in the past is where I go to visit the dead

To remember my Father

To remember so many things

That I tried so hard to forget

A simple way of life that I rebelled against

Trading simplicity for complication

Trading shallow roots

For none at all

 

I look at how far Iíve come

From such a small beginning

So many miles traveled to have gained no distance

I left behind small truths that seemed so unimportant

And now I see that small truths grow larger

When they are absent from the heart

 

I miss the songs of Whippoorwills at dusk

And the pelting sound of a hard rain, roaring

A chorus against the tin roof

I miss the smell of fresh tilled earth in the morning

After the rain had passedó

 

I miss the old place

The place that I thought I could always go back to

And its absence only serves to remind me

That it is the only home

Iíve ever had

 

copyright 1999, M. W. Anderson