Monday, September 19, 2011

My Home Town

We started talking about poetry in my freshman level English class today.  At the beginning of class, my instructor was talking about the difficulty of being given a topic and just told to write a poem about it.  And at the end of class, he said that later this week, we might well do an experiment along those lines.  Perhaps on our Home Towns.

Immediately as I left class though, an idea was percolating in my mind and I had to sit down and go ahead and write it.

So here is my first "give you a topic and tell you to write a poem" poem.

My Home Town

My Hometown is an Island.
You may know it for
the hula, the luau,
the guava and the ukulele.

But I would not.
I didn't grow up there.

My Hometown is deep
in the upper Northeast,
where winter means
snow castles, icicles,
and hot cocoa.
Where soda is 'pop'
and pickled bologna is a treat.

But I haven't played
in the snow in forever,
and all sodas are merely 'cokes'.

My Hometown smells
of schnitzle and dampfnudel.
A street musician plays
on every corner
--never their songs overlapping,
and street artists
recreate the works of masters
in impermanent chalk,
on ancient cobbled roads
that lead to castles.

But that was before
the Berlin wall came down
and the lay of the Geography
I was always taught
became no more.

My Hometown
is a government motto:
"Home is where the
ARMY sends you."

My Hometown
is a wooden decorative plaque:
"Home is where you
hang your curtains."

My Hometown
is all of these...
and none of them at all.

For my Hometown is
always within my heart,
through the memories
of shared laughter and love.
....regardless of the physical location.

--Janin Wise

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