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Home Coming by Alarie Tennille

Home Coming

To go back to your hometown
and find it doesn’t recognize you.

To see your old house bedraggled
like hand-me-downs left to Goodwill –

gutters stripped, azaleas gone for no good
reason except it’s not your home.

To dread awkward reunions almost as much
as not running into anyone you know.

To get a little lost, finding landmarks
have run away with your childhood.

To startle at the silver-haired man
walking by who’s too much like your dad.

To feel gutted by the gap that was
your high school, but jealous

of a new museum and elegant restaurants
where you’ll never have a favorite table.

To understand this strange place
doesn’t feel like home, but always will be.

by Alarie Tennille, first published in Poetry Breakfast.

Editor’s note: Careful enjambments and clear imagery highlight the bittersweet touch of nostalgia in this poem.


2 responses to “Home Coming by Alarie Tennille”

  1. Sylvia Vaughn Avatar
    Sylvia Vaughn

    This poem captures exactly how I feel when I visit any of the towns I lived in while Father served in the Navy. Beautiful.

  2. parhelionrose Avatar

    Home Coming is the first poem in Alarie Tennille’s new collection, WAKING ON THE MOON, sold on Amazon.

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