I come from a white house with a front porch,
lightning bugs in the fall of light, night-time crickets.
The Good Witch in Wizard of Oz and Dorothy’s ruby shoes.
Us kids exercising with Mom to a Debby Drake L.P.
Parents who couldn’t understand peanut butter with jelly
or the point of iced tea. Mom whooping while she sleighed
down a slope in the Valley as Dad caught us all on cine.

I come from the move home. The trick question:
Where would you prefer; Ireland or the States?
or the straightforward, You’re not in America now, girl.
Being on the sideline of an ever-shifting centre.
I come from grannies and granddads, uncles and aunts
and cousins. Night-time prayers; Angel of God my guardian
dear, ever this day be at my side, and if I die before I wake.

I come from roads that carry black ice. A journey,
with my mother to Dublin, that has never ended.
An ambulance ride. Loss. Dad crying on a hospital corridor.
Aplace where childhood can end as the Angelus chimes.
We were no longer in Kansas, and nowhere resembling home.