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By Paola B. López Sauri

February 19, 2019 | Creative Writing

You stand there,

the memory of your

past life crumbling

before your eyes,

same as the cracked

yellow drywall

of your childhood home.

It’s been years – about seven now –

since you’ve been here.

Not much has changed,

and yet you no longer recognize it

as the residence of your naïve dreams,

your mother’s goodnight kisses,

your brother’s unexpected growth spurt

or your father’s endless scoldings.

It is your house

no more.

Gone is the false sense of security

as you glance

at the abandoned place

next door

and the shattered glass

grazing the floor;

gone is the misguided belief

that this was a well-endowed

neighbourhood –

the lawns are smaller,

the streets dirtier,

and the people lonelier

than they were seven years ago,

when your perspective of the world

was compromised

by your childhood innocence.

You turn around,

the hidden reality

settling in the dust

underneath your feet,

and you curse


for being so oblivious

to the darkness that lurked

at the edge of your consciousness;

you reprimand your younger self

for not asking any questions,

and choosing to remain

blissfully unaware

of the danger your parents

rescued you from

when they tore you apart

from everything you used to know;

when they flew you to another country

and asked you to start over.

You cannot

understand how you

could have ever ignored

what was right in front of you,

what is now clear as day:

the decay of the country

that raised you,

the one you had vowed

to always call home.


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