Home ties you to something fixed –
  though there’s nothing set about
  development and the creep
  of city fixtures that sweep
  away life-long play-places.
The breathless, tireless machines
  tear away my memories.
When they clear and dam and pave,
  they lay asphalt right over
  childhood and adolescence.
And in East Marietta,
  no fortification could
  stop the enemy – this time
  a real-live tree-tearing tank –
  next to Chad Taylor’s old house.
We couldn’t even pretend
  to fight them with stick guns and
  pinecone grenades – better than
  petitions and town halls, though.
Further north, off Merritt Road
  (tamed now, like a circus bear),
  the salamanders are gone;
  the crayfish – forgotten ghosts.
The mighty river that housed
  a thousand creatures is a
  drainage runoff now – lifeless.
But, in my heart, none of this
  is true. My home is still there,
and I can wind down Merritt Road,
past Blackjack Mountain and the rock quarry,
down along Rebel Ridge Park to “The 120 Loop.”
I can cross over and hold my breath past the chicken plant,
or I can turn left and pedal down for Lower Roswell
or Powers Ferry, past the elementary school:
left, then right, two bumps at the end of the drive,
and I’m at Nana’s house.
And she is there, wearing that short, curly wig.
And Papaw’s in the garden
with that silly looking leather pouch that holds the cordless phone.
The house smells like plastic and Gardenias.
And everything is as it should be
and ever shall be,
world without end, Amen.

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