Sunday, May 22, 2011

Overtaken by Thoughts of Home

You never meant to be overtaken this way;
wet hair, uncombed, pulled back in a messy ponytail leaving
water spots down your back.
You never meant
to spend these years in the same two pair of jeans
in a two-bedroom apartment far from anywhere you ever meant to be.


On the screen you see pictures, and you are overtaken by what it all should have been;
mountains, fields, horizontal lines of hills fading into blue and purple—
and you know that far, far off in the distance,
beyond the telephone poles and the glare of city lights and the noise of road crews—

far off there, you have been thrice over those hills
to the quiet, to the trees and the waters,
to the deep soil and the clay soil far from
limestone and hardwater and cactus.

Far off you can still smell all the old October smells—
the inside cooking and hardwood fire smells,
the outside wild and outside restless ozone;
and crow-calling storm smells you used to know
while you split firewood for December.

(c)Kathryn W. Ritter
September 27, 2010 Monday 12:10PM
Apartment Beautiful day Ben asleep for nap

When I was a newlywed we moved to Texas, where we had no family, knew no one, and lived under an unfamiliar sky without the comfort of tall trees like we had both known since birth.  In the midst of rediscovering myself I also became a mother, and met some of the most amazing, strong, wise and beautiful women who taught and served me in ways I will never forget. 
Still, the pull of home-memories was strong on me, always.  This poem is an overflow of that longing, which has since, thankfully, been realized.  But it was also during this time that I learned how to move past the longing for home in order to live in and find joy in the present.  There is always so much to be learned and enjoyed, no matter where or in what stage of life we find ourselves.

To remember is good.  But we must also remember to Be in the present.  And that is why I share this poem with you, as the first.


  1. Thanks for this, Kathryn. I've been feeling a little of this lately; your poetry, and especially your words at the end about moving past the longing for home in order to live in and love the present were great words for me this morning. Your poetry is beautiful, as is your little family! Amazing how we all grow up, isn't it? I'm glad I came across this today!

  2. Kathryn, Your poetry is so moving. It's almost as though I don't want to 'blemish' any of it by leaving a comment. But I want you to know how much it touches me and I consider myself blessed to have met you here in blogland. It's been too many years since I put pen to paper, but reading your poems satisfies something deep inside me. Thank you.