I’ve had three homes.
The first, on North Morrison,
I’ve seen in photos.
I’m smiling there, toothless and round-cheeked.
A tree shaded the picnic blanket I crawled on,
Waving to the neighbors in my favorite hat.
The first home I’d ever known.
The second, on Pine Valley,
Has my life etched into its walls.
I’ve grown here, starry-eyed and dreaming.
A tree shaded the grass I lay on,
Reading books in the summer sun.
The second home I’ve ever known.
The third is you.
I’ve never known a home to be a person,
But I made you mine, heart and soul.
Your shade kept me from truly seeing you,
The smile on your face
As you chipped at the foundation.
The third home I’ve ever known came crumbling down.
The fourth, then, must be me.
I will build it myself, with pieces
Of the houses I’ve known.
Even the pieces from you.
I must build a house within myself,
So that wherever I go,
I am home.
Cayla Christopher is a senior studying English and Creative Writing. She would like to thank her parents and grandparents, who were her first and most loyal readers. After graduation, she plans to spend more time pampering her dog, Harry, reading more books, and is considering getting a job.