Like scaring up chickens off their roosts,
squawking loudly across the yard, I dusted up
a scene to take me away from my home, 
to wander into experiences of other homes 
and homeless feelings, to learn that I wanted 
back on my home roost.

The ease of being missed and missing wanes
& waxes. Distance increases and the 
need to fill what had always been provided.  
It takes the reins of my days, determines my direction.

I was exposed to caring for children, managing 
animals, caring for an old man infirm by a heart ailment. 
Traveled into histories made before I ever was, and tied up 
from neglect in knots of opportunities taken by others. 

Halls of stained glass rained colors, a pathway for
my steps across the cathedral, tending to preparations 
for the next event, celebration, funeral, arrival of a
dignitary, a queen. 

Skies of another place had me tethered by the heart
and I landed hard on my return, embraced by a known
firmament. The belonging took longer to reemerge, 
prodigal all the same.  

—Martha Ward

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