The leaves in South Jersey are turning,
and I’m not there to see it.
The dogwood’s flowers are falling onto
the moist mossy ground in my backyard.
The mulberry tree swings in the wind
and I’m a thousand miles away
with the sun beating down on me
the salt air in my nose
and the ocean singing her song to me.
I’m in paradise, and all I can think of is Home.
The pine trees are whistling in the wind,
breaking the silence of the world in the dead of night,
crickets making their appeals to the moon as darkness gives way to dawn,
and a new day begins.
And I’m here… but, I don’t belong here.
I look at the same sky,
I smell the ocean,
but all I can sense is the New Jersey air,
smelling of blueberries and gardens.
I miss the smell of Jersey air on my pillow,
and the sweet freshness of the autumn morning
on my skin.
I miss my Mother, brewing coffee, sitting at the table,
looking into the backyard, crocheting,
thinking silently, especially when she thinks I’m not watching.
I miss the smell of aged wood, and the sound of creaking floors
of conversations still vibrating in the vacant air.
I miss the resonance of a thousand “I love you”s,
a thousand arguments, a thousand sounds of passion,
a thousand petulant, angry words,
the walls shaking with love and fury,
the aural detritus of an everyday life, taken for granted,
that I would give anything to hear again.
I miss walking down Main Street
taking in the small town, breathing in its life.
I close my eyes, and I’m a thousand miles away,
sitting on the floor by a roaring fire, talking with my mother
until the wee hours of the morning,
laughing about the plight of Hicks and Hudson.
When I open my eyes, I realize the obviousness of the truth.
That I’ve traveled thousands of miles,
and wasted so much time,
only in the end to need to come home where I belong.