by Jo Fisher
The breath that leaves my lungs in a great, heaving sigh of relief
is as long as the tracks on which I travel, and as deep as the roots that are pulling me back.
Home, they say, is where the heart is,
but in part I think it’s rude to ignore the soul; the whole of the spirit that makes me who I am.
Home is more than mortar and the crumbling bricks on the side of the gate,
and the state of the patch at the top of our garden where things get a little
It is more than clunking central heating at six in the morning,
and half-finished hallways and bathroom floors,
and doors which long for lick of paint.
It is seeing the books that kept me company
from the age of three, lining the shelves above my head;
old bed-time friends holding memories between pages.
It is roasts eaten with Elaine Page and her old show tunes on Sundays,
and toasting toes by the fire on the coldest of nights.
Blustery days by the beach with wind grabbing my hair,
planting each step with purpose along the prom, prom, prom.
The weight of the world blown straight from my shoulders,
hands colder than ice but still eager to grab an unseasonal and drippy Mister Whippy from the van.
It is a breath of freshness when my lungs become clogged
with adulthood, bogged down by worries and endless lists
and clenched fists rammed down in pockets.
It is walks by the river on a well-trodden route, stepping in footprints I left here the last time I passed time outside.
It’s time and space away from days that race past;
a saving grace in the middle of chaos.
It’s sinking into a sofa which remembers my shape and weight quite like the way my partner might, one day.
It’s nights in with takeaways; fish, chips and favourite telly.
It’s the ephemera of everyday piled high on the sideboard,
and the sound of a car pulling up on the drive at just after five.
I wake up in the same bed, head clearer than it has been for months,
walls whiter than ever and light streaming through old curtains I chose when I was eight,
and a weight has lifted, my soul has rebooted,
and I am beaming once again.