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  • Writer's pictureJean Linville

leaving home

Updated: Aug 27, 2021

August 18 - August 22

I firmly close the front door, pat my zippered pocket

fingertips confidently confirming the contents

keys, phone and a small wrapped snack

then sling the backpack of carefully chosen

belongings over my shoulder and head to the airport

only later experiencing the raw poke of a few

favorite things left behind somewhere at home

half a day away the uneasy longing evaporates

into zebra butterflies, green geckos and

several snails attached barnacle-like

to the roughly textured side of the house

soft, supple bodies safely barricaded

within beautifully striped shells they

have constructed for themselves

I watch these immobile wall earrings hang

on the sun-scorched surface for several days

snail miles away from water and anything edible

finally a morning rain and their estivation ended

there is not a snail to be found as I bend down

whispering a word of thanks into the grass

to the travelers who comforted me far from home

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