8957 Oakwood Way This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 18, 2011
I remember my father’s old home.
What happened to the bulging yard
and the somewhat cracked driveway?
They were only the pathways to the crooked,
layered steps that go to the entrance of my memory.

The weary door’s paint grew long and curled.
The crusty and green snow blanketed my feet
as the whispering hinges corroded my inner ear.
Now, down the hallway I go, toward the
confined bathroom and past the bedroom
(Also known as the place where I measured my height).

I turn right into the ever-present aroma of
our kitchen. I still see my dad reaching into the oven,
stirring the wooden spoon in the pot on the stove,
and grasping the appropriate amount of sterling silver.
I follow the striving cook as he runs outside
onto his sweat-soaked, handmade deck,
and finally, gallops down the flawlessly flat stairs.

He opens the grill. A plethora of black
and opaque smoke shrouds his eyes
as he reaches for the tall and tenacious tongs.
The steak is plump and perfectly pink in the middle,
the noodles are limp and drape my divine dish,
the potatoes taste sweet and are colored orange and brown.
They burn my tongue, the roof of my mouth, and
the back of my throat as they coagulate in my stomach.

However, I do not taste these ambrosial delights
anymore. I walk backwards, parting the opaque smoke,
up the flawlessly flat stairs, onto the sweat-soaked
and handmade deck, through the slightly skewed glass door
that leads into the divine scent of our kitchen,
past the confined cubical of a bathroom, stopping, only slightly,
to remember the time when I was only four feet tall.

As I walk, still backwards, through the stentorian
olive green and wilting door. I thrust the rusty key
into the now unused lock of the door
and shut the memories behind me for the last time.
For this is no longer my father’s home.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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