A Letter Home

Dear home,

I’m leaving you.
Again.

In the morning they said
“Pack up.
We’re leaving
And we won’t be back.”

I’ve left so many times before –
Seoul, Yeojoo,
Chicago, Schaumburg, Valencia, Folsom.
I cried for some of them.

And now it’s you.

I knew
We were wanderers from the start.
We moved so many times.
So many new places and faces
That I wondered
If home meant anything anymore.

It’s curious though.
I thought I couldn’t be bothered
But you grew on me
Telling me
Insisting
“This is your home.”

I’ll miss certain things about you:
Your roiling hills that stayed golden all year
Until winter dripped its precious rain into your roots
Your fresh sweet air, oh so delicious
During our neighborhood patrols
In the fog of morning and cool of night.

And the oaks that stood in such glory
Against the ruddy sun and bruised sky –
Bruised
From the sighs I threw like eggs
To solve my poor riddle
Of Life, Love, and Living.

Smoke from the hot pots and barbecues
Snaking around the purple potato vines and bees
Home projects we never finished
The long carpet for putting we got for Dad
Our white sofa no one could leave –
That I’m leaving.

Stealing a couple bites as I helped Mom with dinner
There was always some food lying around
Making mandu at the round table
Or dancing ’round the countertop
I’ll even miss the sound the blender made
As Dad tried to watch his shows.

The garden where we spent so many days toiling
For fun
Scribbling in my notebook as I watched
The flowers burst into mouthwatering color
At night, we would sit on the swing and stare up
And count how many constellations in the sky we could name.

I’ll miss that and the campfires we had
Huddled around and roasting sweet potatoes and marshmallows
Laughing and singing to Dad’s
Out-of-tune guitar
Competing
To see who could shout the loudest
As our neighbors tried to sleep.

I’m leaving you
And my family
And everyone else
But you know
I’m already stronger now
Than I used to be.

Because
I know East from West
Up from Down
Left from Right
And these are all
You really need in life, right?

I’ll find another home
Just as I found a home here
With new people
That I will learn to love.
Don’t worry because
I have my good luck charms with me.

For warmth
I’ll wear these purple mittens from Simon
For comfort
I’ll hug this pillow that smells of dried flowers from Mom
For inspiration
I’ll read about all kinds of worlds in the Kindle from Dad

And I’ll dream about a world
Where I’m not alone.

For hope
I’ll write new chapters in my notebooks
For courage
I’ll dress up with my classy leather watch
For serendipity
I’ll take pictures on my camera of any strange sights I come across

And if I see you again
I’ll show them to you.

But for now, farewell
You’ve been kind to me.
I have just
One last request:

Please take care
Of the home
Of my memories
For me.

With love,
HK

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