Archives for posts with tag: home

Going Home

If you ever lose your way
and need to find home again,
just look up—

the sky will speak to you
in cloud language,
and the stars will wink
every time you make
the right turn.

You are getting closer.

If you ever lose your way
and want to return,
all you have to do is remember
everything that happened
up until this very moment,
but remember them in reverse
until you are a child again
and cannot possibly be lost
because you have found yourself
at last.

And that is all
you were looking for
to begin with, isn’t it?

Claire Juno, © 2017

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Last Ride

I am made of metal and ride the rails,
a hulking machine of pragmatic power
whose sole purpose is to roll from suburb
to suburb, the sleepy green towns
west of the city, lately covered in fresh
snowfall, their domesticated bliss now
subdued in the brittle night air.

I deposit these fragile human beings
gently onto platforms and pick them up
at quaint stations. Sometimes I do all of this
backwards. But at the end of the day,
it’s all the same: a track that volleys me
from one point to the next, from the city
to the outer bounds of my route, day in
and day out.

Faces become familiar to me with time,
and I can feel the warmth generated by
body heat from the various passengers
deep within my belly. I am like the whale
to their Jonah, only God did not send me,
and they are not running away, nor
climbing aboard to learn a lesson.
They are just along for the ride.

So you can imagine my shock to see
a tiny, toy-like car driving toward me
on the tracks at dusk one January night.
It was silver and eerie in the fading winter
light, almost like an apparition.
My eyes shone upon it and my heart
reared up like a spooked horse but
my wheels could not stop.

I shouted with my horn; I screeched,
I warned, to no avail. My passengers
lunged forward in their seats, awakened
from the monotonous trance of their
daily commute.

I grimaced and shut my eyes
at the grotesque sound of crashing metal
and glass, and when I dared to look again,
I saw a young man floating away curiously
up into the night air.

My conductor was beside himself
with anguish, and emergency vehicles
accumulated. I was quiet and still
as my passengers strained to catch
a glimpse of this awful scene through
my clouded windows, wondering when
they would get home, the idea of which
now seemed half a world away
to us all, though one day I suppose
they will reach it in an instant,
the fastest ride they ever took.

Claire Juno, © 2015

…this may be a vanishing post; it is intended to the memory of someone I lost, but for anonymity’s sake, I may not keep it on my blog indefinitely…

Terms of Endearment

You called me sweetie
and though I realize
you were just saying it
because you’re one of those women
who calls everyone sweetie
and honey and darlin’
—still, I have to admit,
it sort of changed the trajectory
of my afternoon.

You wore a little too much rouge
on your cheeks and you peered
over the top of your glasses
with a puzzled look at the fruit
you pulled out of my shopping
basket, until you realized,
“Oh, it’s pomegranate.”

And I nodded, though
secretly I longed to unload
the burdens of my life
onto the check-out belt
along with the groceries,
knowing that you would
size up each issue, careful and steady;
that you would understand;
that nothing would surprise you.

You asked me would I like
to save 5% today by opening
a store account, darlin’,
and I said I already had one—
thank you— but felt it would
somehow spoil the relationship
to call you darlin’ back.

So I just soaked up
the endearments
like a parched plant
and later that evening,
as foolish as it sounds,
I thanked God for you
because your habit of speech,
though it probably wasn’t
meant to be taken personally,
took hold of me like an earthy
hug from a grandmother
who smells like home,
and I couldn’t remember
the last time anyone
had called me sweetie
or honey or darlin’.

Claire Juno, © 2013

The Runaway

No room for error
when you’ve kicked up
all the rocks that led you home.
You’re on your own now.

One by one
you knocked the stars out
until all you were left with
was a handful of gravel
and an absent sky.

It’s what you do
the night it dawns on you
that the stars
can’t do a damn thing
and you have to take it out
on someone.

Sorry for what you’ve done,
you toss the rocks into the air
and run, and when you look
back, you see them floating
up and up, into the black void
sparkling.

Claire Juno, © 2012