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Exile from the Goldenrod Field (Taylor McCleery Sloey-Lafayette, LA)


It’s time to start working on your skin again You think You’ve been finding blemishes After long nights of self reflection And it hurts
They’ve packed up your prairie solace Into a storage unit While you were off chasing your dreams The ones you talked of incessantly with your old mulberry tree How insensitive that must have been, you now think
Those roots had always supported you and your dreams Right up until the point you ripped them from your feet to sink barestock into a swamp But now, they’ve disappeared, and you won’t get to say goodbye. Objects, land, and photos Feel more like dead grandparents you weren’t brave enough to go see at the hospital.
Yes. Mom and Dad are retiring and moving to Denver, Colorado.
Not something an adult woman should be crying about Yet here you are Tearing up as you walk to your car on a southern spring night Because the sky has turned the right color and the birds sing the right song but it doesn’t smell the way your salt marsh grassland did and you realize you will never have that moment again so long as you live and it hurts You will never get to go home again And that hurts.
And you knew driving by that summer would be a bad idea. You’re about 50 meters into the back yard when a lover’s voice calls “Taylor what are you doing? You don’t live here anymore” “I was checking to see how the garden looked…” You stop, heart sunk, and process the words ‘you don’t live here anymore’…
This place saw your first steps First words First love First solo ride on a two wheel bike Here your fingers discovered the catharsis of 88 keys and spent countless hours holding the flashlight as dad worked on engines And now you’re trespassing?
Do the new owners even know there’s a pink butterfly sticker stuck to the underside of an upstairs floor vent that you put there when you were 10?
Jellyfish, sparrows, dandelion seeds… Some of the most beautiful things spend their lives hovering

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