Take Root

The field lies like a still lake, an opaque film
of silver or green—water or soil, apathy or
memory—obscuring the mayhem underneath

A tenebrous home once floated here. Inside:
chrysalis, pupa, larvae, whatever
I left those costumes in closets to mold over years ago.

But, then again, my home was never on the ground.    Shh.
The trees drowse; their boughs rake the ground now,
remembering the press of sneakers in their moldy

crooks. Do I hear Father’s stale breath, the wheeze
of counted gates opening, the inhale of the afghan
mother comforted me with. Do I hear the things hidden

in the soil? They, unlike I, achieved their wishful plan
to stand still. The truth is I would never forget them;
I brought them more memories packed in boxes 

from a different land. Kneeling, I dig in the soil, disturbing 
the swimming creatures underneath, sprinkle the gypsum seeds.
My calloused hands cover them, then play the guessing game

Perhaps something will take root now baseboards, an oaken
table, a window shutter gripping the numbers of an address.
I am a season wandering away, knowing

the exact date of my return.

This poem was inspired by Alice Merton’s No Roots.
Photo by Marcus Lenk on Unsplash

Early draft. Constructive criticism welcome. What, if any, message did you get from it? What were you confused by? Did you listen to the song? How did it relate back for you?


the heat from its candle inspires
the lantern to cast away from
my fingers, set sail in the briny
above, swim with whip-poor-wills
and wrens all the while its yellow
gaze never leaves the hope of
this world or my ever-reaching arms



(photo credit: Takeaway/wikimedia.org)