A poem about moving to Bakersfield:

The town felt empty

Though it had grown since

My parents last saw it.

The streets felt slow. No

skyscrapers to reach for.

Only blocks of buildings covered

In dust

And vast, brown fields

To wander

A long, hot, dusty Exodus from

The City of Angels

In the packed, gray-green Astro van

My mother and father in front

My sister and brother in back

And the crying, brand new baby

In the middle seat next to me and my

Pungent distaste for the whole affair

But then, there was the house.

Empty, white, and unexplored

An upstairs, downstairs, hidden closets—

Nothing like the tiny condo I was used to

A brand new place to play, laugh, fall, cry,

And wander.

It’s too familiar now.

I could walk it with blind eyes and

Tell you the stories of my childhood there.

Now, it’s all explored, all experienced, none too new.

Back then it was an adventure

And now, it’s just . . . home.


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