Tribute to a home

Throwback time! Wanted to share a poem I wrote last year because it seemed fitting today with my move to Minneapolis, as well as all you other fellow movers out there. Enjoy 🙂


There is a sign that you can see if you look past the forlorn vacancies:

“Home is any place that Life takes you”*

Well, Life has taken me on a ride, gasping for more air at the

climb and in awe of the beauty that’s been brought to me

Life has brought me more challenges than I thought I could face

And more love than I thought I could find

See Life is not a map or a game or some kind of gamble you can win with bribes—No, it is not something to be trivialized or denied no matter how many detours we might take

And its home is not the structures—it’s not the number of missing kitchen tiles nor the chipped blue paint next to the welcome sign; it’s not the steep staircase that nobody wants to climb nor the railing that looks more like a melting popsicle ready to fall off

No, Home is the laughter that fills you and leaves no space or time for the “why?”, Home is the taste of foods from far away, unfamiliar yet unrelenting in its affections for you, Home is the empty lot turned into a world ruled by kids and their imaginations, Home is the sweet smells rising to the windows gasping for cool air to find aromas you can’t name, Home is the smile of J.J. pleading to play “just one more game”, Home is the soccer games in the backyard and the lessons with Grandma Pepe teaching you the gift of listening, Home is the sounds of Norteño music rising up steadily with the smoke from the elotes on the grill, Home is the first floor washing machine standing still silenced and broken and the never-ending hoots and hollers from houses and street corners brimming with people lacking in age but not in experiences. Home is the look, the sound, the smell, the Life that was given and received all in one place.

Home is being born again and again calling out to us with a look of curiosity and care from that pesky kid next door  “Don’t you wanna come play with me? It’s just one game!”

And as you may already know, Life that finds a home will not take “No” for an answer.


*  (quote taken from  a project to create community-created art in foreclosed buildings in an effort to reclaim and restore and to preserve the art of “place-making” along University Avenue in Hamline-Midway area)

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