This Home
Round 5: Home – An Archetype for My Life

by Mary Jo Amani


is a green cedar-shingled and leaf-shrouded shelter,
a balm in Gilead,
wood-hewed and rambling, wrap-around decked,
concrete comforting, pebble-paved and brightly painted, a welcome,
a refuge from storms, miraged and real, roof-leaky, slap-dashed,
image-maker and imagined, and loved.

Is my deepest self, searched for,
longed for, begged for, must be paid for,
symbol-seeker, child-maker, soul feeder, a reader, a writer,
a jumbled Jew-Christian-Buddhist-Animist-Agnostic wanderer,
a melody, a mother.

And is furthermore a marriage,
for who amongst us finds ourselves without the other coming,
a spirit-abode,
coupled in union,
sin-sick souls, healing and healed,
root-sustained, root-provider,

This home is an ivy-laden stone walled archetypal web
shining with a full spectrum of colors,
ephemeral and eternal,
a dual-abiding dwelling of communion and solitude,
of ripeness and loss,
of connection and separateness,
of suffering and oh such joy,
not just Hansel and Gretel lost in the woods,
nor the lights in the cottage ahead,
both Odysseus at sea and Penelope weaving,
Eve-fallen and followed, The Three Graces,
misunderstood and misleading,
a disquieting contentment, a story sought,
an adventure,
a blessed conundrum when
the door is flung open,
and the guest is welcomed.

Mary Jo Amani lives in Swannanoa, North Carolina. Her poem, “If I could understand the last line of that poem I might just eat another slice of that cake,” was published in WNC Woman, and the poem, “Helicopter Seeds,” was runner-up in the 2011 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition. Besides poetry, she also writes short stories and children’s books. The children’s book, Excuse Me, I’m Trying to Read, winner of the 2010 NAESP Foundation Picture Book Award, will be published by Charlesbridge Publishing House in March 2012.

About This Home —“This Home” was written as part of an assignment to try something outside our normal writing style that encompassed an archetype we felt represented our life now. I used “This Grizzly” by Reg Saner as my inspiration.