Home is a Broken Memory
By Christen Lee
•   •   •
Home is a broken memory.
It’s a two-story cape cod with pea green siding,
backyard boxed in by a chain-linked fence,
overgrown weeds and grass-bare patches that can’t be mended.

It’s been five years since you’ve seen it, thirty years since you’ve lived it,
and the birds have gone silent, the trees grown dormant.
Inside these four walls, thick ropes of vine climb and wind, tunnel and find
dusty alcoves scattered with torn pages of journals, tight tendrils circled around your mind.

On the second-story landing, you find yourself buried between rows of green—
potted croton, silver inch plant, African violet, bromeliad, your name here—
tended and fed, curtains spread, the eastern sun pouring it’s slanted light
across deep sleep, stirring life, promising a world beyond
these fractured walls and broken fences, shattered pots and wilted dreams.

To return home is to find boarded windows and sleeping ghosts.
Its silhouettes of accusations, inquisitions, and iron fists decayed to heaps of dust.

What I’m trying to say is run and don’t look back,
lose yourself in something you can call your own.
Find a welcome mat, a lit entry way,
a door that opens free of blame.

Home is a cape cod, peeling green, overgrown weeds.
It’s a long shadow stretched thin,
a cracked memory that no longer holds you.
•   •   •
Christen Lee is a family nurse practitioner in Cleveland, Ohio. Her writing has been featured in Rue Scribe, The Write Launch, Aurora, Humans of the World, Sad Girls Club, New Generation Beats Anthology, Encephalon, In Parentheses, The Elevation Review, and Moot Point among others. On IG @christen_a_lee.

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