Why should the exiled go back home?
Even if there is a country, a heart,
a spring to find awaiting.
The mother tongue is tissue-borne,
a place of inwardness
and smoldering fire.
Yet, the path back seems barely findable,
no crumbles, no flags, no undersongs.
Here, winter still claims dominion,
and no crickets shrill in the grass,
yet freedom is an idiom built in flesh
and you grow on it until your skin ripples.
Meanwhile, you turn, measure up
the sky sliding away like an old Egyptian boat
and wear your body of choices. Inside-out.
Clara Burghelea is a recipient of the 2018 Robert Muroff Poetry Award. She is Editor at Large of Village of Crickets and got her MFA in Creative Writing from Adelphi University. Her poems and fiction have been published in Peacock Journal, Full of Crow Press, Quail Bell Magazine, Ambit Magazine, The Write Launch and elsewhere. She is a poetry reader for Helen magazine and Frontier Poetry.