My origin is a blue ranch on an edge beyond the city of winds.
Within it, was a carpet I thought was made of lava
and couch cushions atop that meant safety.
When the navy colored carpet wasn’t the sweltering, molten fluid of a volcano,
it was a cloudless sky.
There were gales that whipped across the atmosphere...
the fan set to ‘3’ spiraled winds not far off from those of a twister.
These gusts didn’t stand a chance against the might of Superman.
By Superman, I mean a smaller version of myself with a poorly-tied
knot on my neck and the crimson cape of a cotton blanket behind me.
For every sunrise I was dragged out of bed to play with Max,
there was a morning I was hiding under the bed in hopes of avoiding church.
For every time we jumped off the porch in attempt to play Quidditch,
there was a parent crossing their fingers that we didn’t fall on
the broom the wrong way.
For the time we were surprised with a trip to Disneyworld,
there was a worse bit of news that later followed—
A packed Chevrolet Trailblazer with a trailer behind
ventured three hours northbound.
It halted at a gargantuan house with a pointed roof and a yard the size of
The cars unloaded furniture onto wooden floors and not “lava” of a midnight
blue, but rather “lava” of beige and black speckles.
Snow piles were knee high and these mysterious terrain substances
called “hills” were best to slide down in a tube of air.
The place where the full-capacity Trailblazer left did not have these hills—
just flat turf to the horizon line.
Then again, there was one less worry at the house with navy carpet—
never were there invaders adorned in green and gold insulting
the orange-faced bear that occupied our walls.
The first house was small, but it was the first place I called “home.”
The second house felt foreign, but after eleven years,
it’s become as much a home as the first.
For every swing jumped off of at the blue ranch,
there was a touchdown caught beside the pointed-roof house.
For every smell of an Italian beef from Portillo’s,
there was the savory scent of a hamburger from Culver’s.
For every time I’ve called Joliet, IL where I’m from,
I’ve called Lisbon, WI where I belong.