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.