#329: A Long Way (an Oranges Poem)


I live in a house
a quarter of a mile
from the house
I grew up in.

For twenty years
I lived in a house
2 or 3 miles from the house
I grew up in.

That felt like
a long way.
I was young and
my view of the world,

even my view of my
own city—narrow.
Everything seems
smaller now, closer.

Now I’m practically home,
back exactly where I began.
And yet I’m a long way
off even though I’ve never

left, never lived, or worked,
any place other than here.
And the thing I thought
I’d get away from,

I’ve embraced, now.
There’s no escaping
yourself. No number
of miles gives you

that kind of distance.
The miles are in between
the ears and in that
machine pumping blood

through your veins.
Your oranges, and mine,
always with us,
always ripe on the vine.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

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