October 30, 2020

Displaced

Displaced

I gave away some books today
even the one I had yet to read.
It appears the baggage I carry is heavy
and it is always best to offload

before a long journey.

There is a distant churning sound
a barrel going round and round,
my washing machine on its third load
in the small flat we get to call home
for two weeks

We have been moving since lockdown
stuck in the same churning spin cycle
my jeans and t-shirts are in

Stuck between belonging
and not-yet

No roots sunken into the ground
I am a fleeting, floating feeling
I am not really here, stuck in a dream.

The rhythm of my life is so rocky
I could be living on a boat
Perhaps I should
at least that way I could
move and stay in the same place
at the same time.

- - -

From my dream state
I stare out at the houses opposite me
I get to see into their balconies and little gardens
overfilled with belongings,
decorated with coloured light-bulbs
overgrown hydrangeas and plastic chairs

I notice the two women and young child
enjoying their barbecue despite the threatening grey skies
and the bare-chested father on the second floor
who has tuned the television set around
so his daughters can sit on the balcony and watch
like an outing of sorts, something
fun and budget friendly
It reminds me of drive-ins, of hotdogs and ice-cream
and the soft pastel colours of my childhood
the smell of grass and salty sea on my skin
as we raced each other around the little caravans
and were so sure of love

I now notice a bearded man sitting with his family
they are all engaged in animated conversation
his wife cackles ferociously, throwing her head back
at something their son has said
while he sits, starring out into space
There is that weary sense again
of displacement
of not quite be-ing

So many of us do not belong
even in our own homes.