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Home Again, Home Again

The children are back, the children are back—

They’ve come to take refuge, exhale and unpack;

The marriage has faltered, the job has gone bad,

Come open the door for them, Mother and Dad.


The city apartment is leaky and cold,

The landlord lascivious, greedy and old—

The mattress is lumpy, the oven’s encrusted,

The freezer, the fan, and the toilet have rusted.


The company caved, the boss went broke,

The job and the love-affair, all up in smoke.

The anguish of loneliness comes as a shock—

O heart in the doldrums, O heart in hock.


And so they return with their piles of possessions,

Their terrified cats and their mournful expressions,

Reclaiming the bedrooms they had in their teens,

Clean towels, warm comforter, glass figurines.


Downstairs in the kitchen the father and mother

Don’t say a word, but they look at each other

As down from the hill comes Jill, comes Jack.

The children are back.  The children are back.

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A member-at-large of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission, Marilyn Taylor served as Wisconsin Poet Laureate from 2008–2010, and as Poet Laureate of Milwaukee from 2004 - 2006.

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