🕯️ Going back home, a tapestry of time


A sojourn looms, heavy and stark
Homeward bound, today I shall embark,
Life does not pause for the mourner under this dome
But all I seek is home.

Security cleared, what a tiresome charade
Scanners and conveyors, a pat-down, what a bother.
With each climb of the escalator,
Towards the gate I go, burdened by time.

Chaos reigns, the cacophony unfolds
Amidst the crowd, solace a rare sight.
At least my coffee is quite bold,
My only champion is the sun’s light.

A whispered prayer, for safety’s embrace,
To one funeral I head, another I cannot face.
In the sky, between lands, my fears are sown,
Stuck in this tube, my thoughts are my own.

The ground greets me, a bittersweet peace,
Nearly home, but the ache won’t cease.
What cost is home, what price for this flight?
I seek solace, but it is far out of sight.

Past this bridge, its corridors long
Towards where my memories belong.
My life and my home torn,
Mourning also the aggrieved and forlorn.

The roads whisper tales of what was once a place,
Before the relentless march of what counted as progress,
Did they mourn, as I do, for what was erased?
Communities displaced, lives regressed.

A man, his power, and his dream,
Who oversaw the landscapes being reshaped.
Did he weep as the night beamed?
These places, we could never have replaced.

In a town forgotten by time, I arrive,
The locomotives whistled and spewed their exhaust,
I go to the chapel, at my own high cost,
For we seek solace in the stories that survive.

A confluence of pasts, a tapestry of ties,
A clear sky, a cold day, but our shared sorrow still lies.
In this gathering, our grief finds a voice,
In remembering, together, we somewhat rejoice.

Journey’s end, and I can only weep,
Closure elusive, in the town time forgot,
Never mind in the city that doesn’t sleep.
Life does not pause for the mourner in the gates.


This poem is a reflection on two deaths in my family: my grandmother and my mother. In both cases, the funerals took place in rural railroad towns in the South, specifically those on the route between Atlanta and Birmingham.

I flew out of LaGuardia Airport in New York City and transited both Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport both times.

I miss you, Bonnie and Natalie. At least you join Rex and Karl. Love from the city that never sleeps, where you are all proud that I've made something of myself.