This is my home,
Where my first screams of life occurred.
I sat in its classrooms.
Rode bikes in its streets,
Played hopscotch and jump rope on its sidewalks.
I rode its buses to school, to work, to shop.
Swam in pools, jumped off the high dive into the cool water,
Had picnics in its parks.
I danced at the Inner Circle and Hi-Rise Café,
Drank until I vomited at the Cadillac Club.
I fell in love, over and over again,
Until I found the “one,”
But not the last.
My children first opened their eyes here,
Grew up, went to school, played
On the same streets.
It looks so different now.
Not the place I remember.
The house where I first saw light of day
Still stands, looking aged.
The sidewalks evoke ghosts forgotten with time.
Schools are still there,
Students run screaming out their doors.
The structures shudder with their new noise.
The pool is gone.
Replaced by a restaurant.
Everyone left the old neighborhood
Spreading out, out into new boundaries.
I can’t bear to see those streets of the past.
Town is rearranged.
The clubs no longer exist.
A stadium sits on the place christened with my spew.
The river front is glorious!
Decorated with fresh images.
Flying pigs top the entrance
A Serpentine walk winds ‘round
Laughter and smiles come from a carousel and swings.
This is my home.
Not the one I left
But the one I love.
Originally from Ohio, Janet now resides in Bakersfield, CA. Her love of writing began with creating her eighth grade Class Prophecy. Today Janet concentrates on family memoir, poetry, and her recently renewed interest in fiction. She serves as Writers of Kern secretary.