Can’t Go Home, by Mercedes Webb-Pullman

Can’t Go Home
By Mercedes Webb-Pullman

Totara stands defiant.
Behind him, my old home;
he still shadows night onto day,
my father the night man
my mother ruler of light.
Tree roots make caves for play.
My sister climbs up, away
as new baby cries. The tree stays
doesn’t go rushing inside.
We sneak from the yard.
No earthquakes happen, no fires.

From Reservoir Hill we

can see the tree. Home is
a dolls house, nappies flapping.
Ant people, pushing
toy prams, hurry along.
That can’t be our mother!
She’s so tiny! We lie
to roll down the hill laughing
clouds and ground swirl
in a giggly giddy dance.
We land in a helpless heap
at my mother’s solid planted feet.
Anger picks us up, shakes us
makes us hold her skirt

tows us home again.

The tree still stands there
larger, darker, my father dead
my mother old and weak.
From Reservoir Hill
I watch as sunset
makes a shadow finger of me

pointing home.

 

 
Mercedes Webb-Pullman: IIML Victoria University Wellington New Zealand MA in Creative Writing 2011. Published in: Turbine, 4th Floor, Swamp, Reconfigurations, The Electronic Bridge, poetryrepairs, Connotations, The Red Room, Otoliths  and her books Numeralla Dreaming, After the Danse, Food 4 Thought, Looking for Kerouac, Ono and Bravo Charlie Foxtrot.

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