In an Offseason for Homecoming

Issue ThirteenIssue Thirteen PoetryPoetry

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By Joshua Klarica

Even though I have stood here more times than I could count,

in the chattering cold of mid-winters dawn, and bleaks unruly,

I am standing here now – for the last time – a stranger.

 

The house of my childhood is being gutted

beside the narrow smiles of my parents – the clear and final

proof of their chicanery: They, too, are fleeing the coup.

 

I have brought my girlfriend along, for if ever she is to know me

then here are the essential forewords, and what better way

to see them all than in a cardboard box, beside

 

my mother’s glass animals, and the ribbons and medallions

that commend how well I once found my place, and a shoebox

of broken glass, where lies my grandfather’s stein, shattered

 

and useless and unrivalled. There are other things too,

taken from invisible alcoves on which once stowed

the private conditions of my boyhood: Justin’s secret

 

and the taunts I threw at my brother, the receipts of inventory

stolen from the corner store and my friends, and somewhere there

had been the prayer I left for the Arrows’ boy so that I might

 

stop crying. All these things, all taken down, but spared

the removalists van, with this house, which I will soon turn upon

and blame, and leave, finally, to let it thaw.