The House of Childhood
by Ute Carson
Plainsong, Hastings College Press, July 2019

We return to the place
where we first heard voices,
smelled the air and tasted nourishment,
where hands caressed or frightened us,
where comfort was our cocoon
or neglect made us shiver.
The tears of harm are cold,
the tears of joy warm as a lagoon.
We carry the house of childhood within us,
and spying through its translucent walls
we keep life at a distance-or embrace it.

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