Sally Dunn: “The Prodigal Daughter Searches for Her Home”

The Prodigal Daughter Searches for Her Home
I am repulsed by the city:
the noise, the filth
the way you can see it from space.
Yet it is as natural as 
a bird’s nest or
a prairie dog town
as natural as I am.
For if it is not natural
then I, born of the species 
who made it,
am nothing but an alien
on the world of my birth.

In order to reconcile myself to me
I placed my hand on a large building
with its steel, concrete
and glass upon glass that doesn’t open.
I tried to feel as I have felt
when I have placed my hand on a tree
and felt that it was part of me
part of the world.
Its right to exist not open to question.

I failed my test.
I cannot feel the life in this building.
I cannot feel the buzzing of its
electrons connecting with the palm
I have placed upon it.
I have run, hidden, stayed away
from the city for years. 
But it is part me
as much as anything else is.
If I cannot own this part of me
how much of myself will I have lost?
How can I be part of this world
if I don’t own this building?

Or must I forever
be an exile
in my own body?

About the Author: Sally Dunn’s poetry has appeared in Schuylkill Valley Journal, North Dakota Quarterly, Plainsongs and Glass Mountain among others.  Her poetry won third place in the Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Contest. She lives on Cape Cod.


Image Credit: Paul Klee “Cold City” (1921) Public Domain

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