by Barbara Eknoian

I cross the miles holding
onto memories:
my children’s first steps,
their first days at school,
their romps in piles
of orange and gold leaves.

The neighborhood movie house,
where Rocky played
for six months,
was something I could rely on
when I looked up at the marquee.

The drugstore where my kids
brought their piggy banks,
the clerk counting out pennies
for them to buy me perfume.

Chatting with neighbors
over the backyard fence,
as we hung clothes on our lines.
Margaret always washed
on Mondays, shopped on Thursdays;
Vivian walked to the market at noon.

I arrive in the new land
of smog-filled haze
and star-like cacti —
I am on another planet.

I long to see the familiar landscape
of windswept leaves
resting against
the sagging redwood fence.

SOURCE: Previously published in the author’s poetry book Why I Miss New Jersey.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The photo is taken from my chapbook, Jerkumstances. This was 1957,  when I was 15, in Belmar, New Jersey.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Moving from New Jersey to California, I felt as though I’d arrived on another planet. “Homesick” was one of the first poems I wrote when I began attending a poetry workshop. I was still in a stage of grief,  missing family and friends, and the poem just flowed when I began to write it.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Eknoian’s work has appeared in Pearl, Chiron Review, Cadence Collective Anthology, and Silver Birch Press’s Silver, Green, Summer, and Self-Portrait anthologies. She is a veteran of Donna Hilbert’s poetry workshop in Long Beach. Her recent novel — a family saga — Monday’s Child is available at Amazon.