This World and This One by John Calvin Hughes

This World and This One

The house you grew up in
I’ve never seen. The window
you stared out from, the porch
where you kissed your first
boy, the tree you climbed
for spying on your sisters—
Ah! How you stood before
the mirror and brushed your hair
snappy with staticky air, made
faces you wanted to show
the world, the ones you prayed
to hide, the definition of self
you so wanted to erase and rewrite,
the girl with the slipping mask.
And if the house shook off its
moorings and sailed through the black
Ohio night, and if you stood
before the window and watched
the watery world slide by,
well, there you are, pushed
by wind, carried by wave
into the future yet to be written.

by John Calvin Hughes

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Editor’s Note: Sometimes I can’t quite make sense of a poem, but after a few rereads, the words settle into something interesting. This poem isn’t linear, but by the end, the reader is changed, much like the narrator is from contemplating this world. And this one. And the people in it.