Pieces of home

I first spotted you
In the curl of a Virginian wave
I was tiny and the roaring giant tide
Overwhelmed, threatening to pull me under
And I loved every reckless moment
Of salty, sandy air tripping over the waves
Whipping locks of hair around my five-year-old face

In my twenties I saw your name and face
In others’ and found my comfort elsewhere
Thinking that I had found home
Until I realized home was where I was
And I wasn’t there

But then I discovered you in the things that made me laugh
Not knowing that would bring tears of relief
Even if it wasn’t yet time and we hadn’t yet collected
All the memories that we would need
To orient our steps
So that we would know on sight
That our search was over

I watched and waited as everything added up
Not knowing what we were counting
As the days, hours and minutes trickled on
And I returned to the shores wild
The sand rushing under the tow
And there you were
Again for the first time
And my feet fought to keep balance as the earth tilted

And what could I say
Except that I have known you
All my life, collected pieces of you
Like pebbles and shells on the beach
Bottling all the memories together with a scoop of sand
Souvenirs collected in mason jars
Giving this whole knowing
Comfort, like we’ve been through this before
Over time, and again, we’ve met not knowing
Who we were, are and will be
Except for all these pieces we’ve collected
Pointing us ever onward home

"Pieces of home," poetry by Roshan James

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