AN: The first of a couple of Mara poems that I've written recently. I've been trying to challenge myself, by writing poems that don't tell a story. Slightly stream-of-consciousness, though, so I'm not quite sure if it absolutely makes sense. For Gabri, because I often suspect that Mara is her secret alter ego. (look, a poem!) Enjoy!


There are different degrees
of homelessness, varying
in severity like a burn -
but never touching skin,
only the fragile shell of
the mind and the core
of your psyche.

The worst, of course, is
when you are faced with
no house, no shelter,
an end to normality -
when everything
you owned
(and wanted, and dreamed)
is gone – ripped
from safety to
in an instant.

But subtler – and perhaps
ultimately more painful – is the loss
of that sense of peaceful
stability; when the things
you thought would
always last
(family, freedom, faith)
are snatched away, revealing
the harshness of callous reality.

It comes to you in quiet
times, all that this war
has cost; packing up
again, you realize how little
you truly have:
clothes, tools, mementos
from a life that seems
so far away; more than
forty years of existence,
condensed into a few
boxes and bags.

You never lack a place
to stay, a meal
to eat, but deep within
you feel once more the
emptiness of an
uprooted life.

Each room you leave behind,
still touched by tiny whispers
of your presence there,
(a scrap of flimsiplast,
a sock, a brush)
has also taken a part
of your heart –
for memories don't
discriminate between
the temporary and permanent
dwellings, claiming possession
of every space that served –
however briefly –
as your home.

And you hate that,
hate the emotions stored
behind even
the most insignificant
places – you long to return
to a true home, where your
heart can be renewed,
instead of being torn
throughout the galaxy.

For now, though, you resign
yourself to being pulled
between the desire for security
and the necessity of combat,
while all the time
your spirit cries
for someplace to call