Coming Home


Last week, Catherine at Reading to the Core shared a wonderful poem Driving at Night, by Sheila Packa. That poem sent me spinning down memory lane into family car trips of my own and inspired this poem.

Coming Home
When I recall those late night car trips
I remember lying in the back
of the big old station wagon
eyes shut tight to the star-lit night sky
playing my silent, solitary game.
Cocooned in darkness I lay,
feeling the sleepy presence of my siblings
conversations and competitions
softened by the velvet night
and the fog of fatigue.
I rolled gently into the twists and turns
of the winding roads,
envisioning the oft-traveled route
leading to home
awaiting that sense of familiarity
left, right, right, stop,
smooth, winding turn
intent on recognizing the pattern.
And as it emerged
and we drew ever nearer,
my eyelids, thin membranes
traced with venous maps,
quivered in anticipation
of opening at that critical, winning moment
when we made the final turn
into the steep driveway
and home lay waiting
at the top of the hill.

It strikes me now,
from the perspective of  decades,
that I remember the journey home
but not the journey away.
And that opening my eyes
to see my home waiting
was the prize
in my nocturnal game.
Perhaps, now and then,
coming home
has always been
my destination.

Molly Hogan (c) 2015

Today is Poetry Friday and the round up is being hosted by Bridget Magee on her blog Wee Words for Wee Ones.

7 thoughts on “Coming Home

  1. murphpoet says:

    Beautiful. I too remember fondly lying in the back of the stationw gaon, sleeping – or pretending to be asleep – and feeling the twists and turns.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. danrothermel says:

    These lines took me to that old station wagon.
    “feeling the sleepy presence of my siblings
    conversations and competitions”

    Did ever family have a station wagon in days past? We did.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hannah says:

    My oh my….Molly, you bring it all back. And yes, we had one of those old “woody” station wagons. Ah, coming Home….don’t we do it time and time – and time again – as we wind our way through Life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, Molly, this poem hits “home”. I loved pretending to sleep, eavesdropping on my parent’s murmured conversations. Funny, I, too, only remember to coming home parts of our trips, not the “journey away”. =)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Becky Shillington says:

    This is stunning, Molly. I remember long trips home, too, but never away… Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tabatha says:

    Lovely. What a warm and poignant sentiment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is beautiful, Molly! I especially love the maps drawn on your eyelids. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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