2014, I hadn’t seen my Grandmother in many years. I knew she was dying. The family told me that if I was going to see her alive, I needed to come soon. I had a plan and told my then-husband that I would have enough money to drive from Texas to North Carolina by July.

He said, “OK”.

In July, he disappeared with all the money that had been in the account. There was no money for food or bills and no money for the drive to North Carolina. My grandmother was going to die, and I would never get to say goodbye to her on this earth. I did not have the time or the strength to change this reality.

Reality is that which, when you stop believing it, doesn’t go away.
– Phillip K. Dick

A friend had a spare room where my daughter and I slept until I could get a lawyer. I remember where I was sitting in her house when I got the news that my Grandmother had truly passed from this earth. I was sad — the kind of sad that paralyzes you. I didn’t even cry. I just stared into space. I wanted to go home, but I had no home.

One day, as I sat staring, a verse from my childhood began circling in my mind, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” but it was like a fuzzy background noise that I couldn’t identify. When my brain was able to focus, and I finally heard the words clearly, I said to God, “But I do want. I want to go home.”

I had not written much in years, but at her death, the words started to pour out of me again. Eventually, my words and thoughts became a poem that I call, I Want.

I want
to drive down the well-worn country road,
turn my weary coupe into my grandparents’ driveway,
hear the gritty grind of sand under tires.

I want
to be shed of time and greeted by dogs now long gone,
look deep into soft brown eyes, bury my fingers in fur.

I want
to reverently step up those hand-poured concrete stairs,
hear the back porch screen door slam shut behind me,
feel the lose brass knob wobble in my hand.

I want
to open the door to my childhood safe haven,
find Grandpa sitting in his usual spot,
stained, cherished coffee cup in hand.

I want
to watch his face light up
with a “Howdy do, where ya been hidin’?”

I want
to feel Grandma’s arms wrapped tight around me,
hear her say “Lordy mercy, it’s good to see you.
Where are them young’uns?”

I want
to smell her homemade biscuits,
taste food that warms me up inside
Reminding me of who I am.

I want
to rest out back under the shade tree,
listen to Grandma’s sweet mountain accent
as she tells the story of the old Chinese maple — again.
This time, I’ll relish every word.

I want
to bask in Grandpa’s mindful presence as he studies the fields
slowly adding a wise word to the conversation every now and again.
This time, I won’t complain when he spits in his cup.

I want
to linger with them the way old and familiar folks do;
folks who have no need for words, who understand
silence is comfortable with those who love and accept us for exactly who we are.

I want
to find
my way back home.

Writer, editor, and teacher. Creating a life I love.