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Moving On
by Lynn White

They said that you never go back
once you leave home.
I was sure I would
and I promised
my mother
as we packed the big black trunk.

I was homesick and in tears those
first few days in college.
“Hay fever,” I said.
In September!
I promised
I’d come home at the weekend

And I did, I did as just I’d promised.
But I didn’t want to go.
Didn’t want to leave
all my new friends
and all the new
possibilities,
though it was nice to meet old ones again.

I had lots to tell them about my new home,
my new friends and my new place.
And about all the excitement.
I planned for old friends
to visit my new home
and they did
eventually.
And then the new went to visit the old.

But “they” were right to say that
you never go back home
once you leave.
I never did.
Not really.
I never
went back
to stay.

PHOTO: The author (centre, sitting on post) and friends outside their new home in Liverpool, 1964.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wanted the shape of the poem to reflect the coming and going.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places, and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy, and reality. Her poem “A Rose For Gaza” was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud “War Poetry for Today” competition 2014. This and many other poems have been published in recent anthologies, including Stacey Savage’s We Are Poetry: An Anthology of Love Poems, Community Arts Ink’s Reclaiming Our Voices, Vagabond Press’s The Border Crossed Us, Civilised Beasts and Vagabonds: Anthology of the Mad Ones from Weasel Press, Alice in Wonderland Anthology from Silver Birch Press, and man other rather excellent online and print journals. Visit her on facebook and at lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com.