I went to all the old places today. To where I used to play and my heart ran free. To the places of memories sweet and memories haunted. I went to the places of comfort and could not find it there. I went looking for a sense of home and belonging and could not find it there. I went looking for something I lost like a precious trinket and I could not find it. I drove past the places I used to stop and feel full of purpose and promise and all of life's doors opened to me but they were not there. They were only reminders of all that was, all that could have been and should have been but will not be. I went to my childhood home but it is gone and the mountain torn down. I went to where I used to often play along the creek and it seemed like a place I do not know. I went to the church it was so different and rearranged. I long to touch something somehow sacred to me. I went to find the old well and bring water from it again. But I did not see it. I want to touch a place or a thing that connects me and that belongs to me and I to it. I went to the cemetery. There I touched the earth. I laid in it. Someone had put some cut flowers out. They were beginning to wither. Once a thing of beauty set out to give light, a bit of whimsy. I reached down to take away what was now dead or dying. No, not yet. I pull my hand back, still enough beauty left.
By Angela Gwathney