It was early—still dark and quiet—on a Sunday morning, when I rolled the small suitcase across the bedroom floor. I was leaving for New York City, to spend five days mixing business with pleasure.
“You booked a round-trip ticket, right?” My husband has a dry sense of humor. It’s one of his many endearing qualities.
It was not an unreasonable question, though. I have been asking him “When are we going home?” for more than a decade. He always answers, with varying levels of exasperation, “This is home.”
This week marks our Bar Mitzvah year in Atlanta. It is a milestone in my adult life, as I have now lived here longer than I lived in the city of my birth. To be considered a native Atlantan, I have learned, takes four or five generations.
I dream of returning home. I miss living near extended family, my father and brothers, my aunt, my cousins, nieces and nephew. But after thirteen years I don’t feel like a visitor here anymore; more like a transplant, as my family has taken root in the red clay.
When I returned from that trip, some months ago, I wrote a poem. I wanted to express my jumble of emotions in a measured, well-structured collection of words. Last week, in celebration of my anniversary as an Atlanta resident, I pushed myself to the border of my comfort zone: I submitted the poem to Tiferet Journal’s website, where you can now read it and share your reflections about home.