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Any Place Called Home, a poem by Rosemary Freedman

Any Place Called Home
by Rosemary Freedman

Once, driving to my childhood home,
I looked around at the old neighborhood and
I felt ashamed.

My mother, who had raised seven children,
was alone in her back room
the wallpaper peeling away, and because she had been
successful at making successful
children, I asked- "Why do you stay here?"

"This is my home where I've lived for fifty years.
This is where I feel comfortable," she answered.
Then I imagined,
children in huts, children in trailers,
in doubles, in projects, in caves.
Any place called home-
We share the same sky-
and the same sun.

Suddenly I became a little girl
playing in the rain with these other children
from all of these other places.
Our toothless smiles faced the sky,
reluctant all -
to come in from this Baptism spontaneous.

Our laughter blending like a symphony
With arms outstretched to a God that washed us all
with the same water.

I looked at my mother-
and her wisdom warmed me like the
ancient familiar cover she was wrapped in.
Comfort spilled off of her, leaving me a bit uncomfortable.
I drove toward my new neighborhood
feeling ashamed.

From Rosemary Freeman: "I am married and have seven children. I have a B.A. in creative writing and literature, and a master's in nursing education, a post-masters as a nurse practitioner and a post-masters as a clinical nurse specialist. I enjoy gardening, painting and karaoke."