Let me read it to you…
what is home
what is home
What is home but all the blankets bunched up at my feet by morning? I open one eye to see the cat sitting upright by the pillow, contemplating my eyelashes. Home is going to the bathroom together, straightening the rug in the hallway again. It’s flip-flops down the stairs and a spoon clinking around in a coffee cup. Home is that first sip and a familiar sigh.
What is home but too many leaves to manage in the Autumn and yews needing more water before the first frost? I trip again on the corner of a patio paver heaving up from some errant root as I drag a bin to the curb. Home is seeing your neighbor in pajamas and snow boots, dragging their own bin. It’s giving a little wave and receiving a charming salute in return. Home is duty and community and dry feet.
What is home but a place hard to leave every morning? I push my hair up into a slop-knot because I can have six more minutes on the porch with that coffee cup if I don’t fuss. Home is matcha for the road, the cherry red shoulder bag of essentials slung across my body — lip balm, cuticle nippers, a package of tissues, a tin of aspirin and antacid tablets, a spare tampon. Home is the backdoor needing a hard pull to get the deadbolt turned and the solemn face of that tabby cat peering through the glass.
What is home but a treadmill in the basement, around the corner from a laundry sink and the litter box? I arrange a favorite sweater on a hanger and place it on the steel rail of the treadmill. Home is taking inventory of all my good intentions while a load of bath towels bumps around in the dryer. It’s a stack of unread books by the sofa, aging lettuce in the crisper drawer, a tumbleweed of cat hair rolling under the tv cabinet to join a stolen pom-pom from a pair of slippers I keep for my mother when she visits.
What is home but piles of junk-mail shoved through the slot by noon? I rummage a drawer for a screwdriver because the leg of a stool seems to be coming loose. Home is a deck of playing cards, a rubber band, twenty-three cents in loose change. It’s bills to pay, expired coupons and a recipe for Thai peanut soup I think I might try on Saturday. Home is knowing where spare keys and AA batteries are stored, just in case.