Visit to my home town.
ie, the hood.
ie, Muzza Bizza.
ie, the shit hole I couldn’t wait to leave at eighteen.
Rational now, about the place.
No longer the fear that any length of time spent there
Will mean being sucked into its black hole,
Never leaving the Malley Scrub prison.
At the shops, served by a girl I went to school with.
She had lank hair and a missing tooth.
She didn’t remember me.
Visited childhood friend,
The one who knew all my secrets,
The one who held my hand through
Those terrible teenage years.
We had both wanted to rebel but couldn’t;
Italian children do not rebel.
I waited until I left home – fucking up my life.
She held my hand through that, too.
Now living interstate, Christmas holidays
Gave us the opportunity to meet.
It was odd, knocking on her childhood home door.
I never knocked on that door.
I always just walked in.
Her mum wanted us to sit at the dining table.
No, I said. Too odd.
Let us sit at the kitchen table,
Let us recreate our history.
I left with a box full of tomatoes,
Peaches and olive oil.
So Italian. So typical.
Walking that street, visiting those people;
There is not need for the grocery store.
And so was the visit to my history.
This is for my surrogate family, who have always treated me as their own. Time and distance has not weakened our bond, and I will forever be eternally grateful for their love, understanding and lack of judgement. Thank you for being such a special part of my life.