Home (a poem)

It is hard being queer
and from the South.
Weeks like this make
me feel like it’s the one
unrequited love
I may never get over.

I do love it,
helplessly, unhealthily,
way down in my bones.
The years and distance
cannot shake that
down-home dust from my feet.

I miss it daily, deeply:
the low-country coast
and blue ridges that turn
to brilliant fire
when autumn comes.
And the slow summers,
and the wide smiles,
and the long stories
I inhaled hungrily
and then learned to
spin myself.

In that full-hearted place,
I learned the beauty of the earth,
and the healing power of a kind
and genuine gesture.
I learned family and neighbor
and God are the things
that get you through.

Mostly.
But what do I do with the rest?
Because I also learned there
to fear what looks different,
and to fear myself.
In the South I first saw
what hate looks like
in the guise of godliness.
I learned to run from
hate like that, and the
powers that make it law,
and what all of that broken
can do to a person like me–
is doing and
worse even to others.

Even now I just want the
world to see all the magic
there is in that place,
And even now I am still
terrified of that hate.
It is so much to carry
and it keeps my heart
always a little broken.

But today, I am thankful
for the ones who stay,
who stand up and fight
for the best in that place.
I am grateful for the
voices that maintain the hope
of a South that might
one day again
be my home.

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One thought on “Home (a poem)

  1. Pingback: All The Poems I Wrote in Lent | Reverend Fem

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