Home is where the sound of sirens are lullabies. Where single moms dream when they blink. Where the candles smell like the places we’ve never been. Where the grass on the other side is as green as money. Home sparkles with resilience. Home has tears that could quench thirst. Sometimes our smiles are tired from being bent but we smile anyway. Home is where neighbors offer you mangos from their trees. Where Grandma plants her own collard greens. Where aunties and uncles smoke blunts and black & milds while playing cards. Where there are t-shirts and towels dancing in the wind, waiting to be dry. Where a surplus of men roam the streets and fatherless children sleep untucked in bed. Home is where your mom approves your sleepover with your cousin just for y’all to laugh until Auntie yells for y’all to go to bed. Home is where the pastors are loud and the choirs are louder. But who one can hear us? Who will listen? Home is where the clouds slow down prayers. Where the people are darker from flying too close to the sun. Home is a whisper of water touching the seeds who can make it out. Home is a 9 to 5. A 7 to 3. An 11 to 7. A clock in and a clock out and a clock broken. Home is a bowl of dirt and glitter. Home is a rearview mirror glistening with neighbors, aunties, uncles, cousins, play-cousins, friends, classmates, moms all waving and watching your journey on the yellow brick road.
Choya Randolph is an adjunct professor at Adelphi University with a B.A. in Mass Communications and M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Their work has been published in Rigorous Magazine, midnight & indigo, Her Campus, The Crow’s Nest, NNB News and elsewhere. They are a proud Floridian who lives happily on Long Island in New York.