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"All We Know" by Lucia Rose Dahn

Home is the place you grow up in, right?

The house where I have spent fifteen years,

With the address that is easy to remember

And decor that is hard to forget. Home should be the

wooden floors and grassy yard that look simple

compared to the extravagant mansions I’ve seen on TV.

The bedroom where I triple check my windows each night,

Because I worry about strangers hiding under my bed,

Clothed in black, reaching their arms out to grasp me

Before I can utter a single word.


Maybe home is the school that I just started attending,

The people who I’m still getting to know

And who I hesitate to wave to,

Because I have made up stories in my mind

That my brain likes to think are real.

Where I tread carefully down brick paths,

and despise the moments that I am not being my true self.

Yet I can only hope for the future

When we will all wear robes and throw caps in the sky

And know how we will spend the next four years of our lives.


Or perhaps, home isn’t an idea of the future,

But rather a reality of the past.

The middle school where I lost and found myself a thousand times,

Where music was my escape and I tried to be myself unapologetically

Yet found myself apologizing

For the things I couldn’t control.

And tried to find deeper meaning in trifling matters,

Instead of focusing on what was right in front of me.


If home is a person or a group of people, then how do you know when they’re found?

Is the sky any blue-er, the laughs any freer, the cold mornings any warmer?

Does it feel like the burning butterflies that race through your body

when you first make eye contact with the person you’ll grow to love?

A gratitude for life that comes and goes with the wind, perhaps?

Maybe you feel it in increments.

The glass seems half full instead of half empty more often than it used to.

When something exciting happens, you know who you want to tell,

So you send the message without hesitation.

You start to see potential in the most mundane of things,

And wish the floating feeling could last forever.


Perhaps home is the city in which I was born,

That I will always feel a connection to,

But may need some time apart from

After I graduate high school.

And when I come back, I’ll remember the wide streets

My family and I used to bike on,

Before a global pandemic kept us indoors.

And the elegant houses my mom and I used to pass

on our drives to school, when we’d blast songs

from artists I don’t listen to anymore.

Houses separated from the rest of the world

By tall hedges and grand double doors,

But now I realize the facades mean nothing.


Perhaps we rely on home when we’re split into a million pieces,

Hearts shattered in ways we thought unimaginable,

Far from the dreams we hoped to achieve,

Distanced from the people

we once promised to never leave behind.


Maybe home is never found, and instead is

constantly changing like we are,

so we call something home when we feel like we’re floating

and need a

grounding idea

to

fall

down

to.


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