Homecoming, Newark Airport by James Keane

Homecoming, Newark Airport

I don’t know what you went through
(or went screaming through you)

over there. But all appears forgotten
in the walkway from the plane.

Your family, beaming, still,
as you stride up a steady hill to the

WELCOME HOME someone (all of them?)
committed to cloth just knowing

you were coming back. And here you
stand. Back. Smiles and silence

all around. A hug, patiently,
for your mother. A shove, playfully,

for your sister. Then all there is
is your father. His tight grip. Tightening

grin. Branded with a savage
kiss on both sides of your neck.

by James Keane, first published in The Chimaera.

Editor’s Note: This poem’s enjambment embodies the difficulty of an uncertain homecoming, rife with love, pain, and hope. The last two lines are perfect.

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