Homeward

Home isn’t always home,

Sometimes it’s a friend from childhood;

A neighbour giving you shelter when you forget the keys;

A stranger at the bus stop who is good company at an odd time;

An omlette from a roadside stall;

A bookstore with video games and vinyls for rent –

Anyone or anything, you didn’t call home ever.

Sharma Aunty has taken a liking for you –

We know this because she refilled your plate with cookies

Without you asking.

She asks you what you do,

If this is your first time here,

Whether I’ve shown you around

And some more.

You answer diligently, repeating now and then

Asking her for spots I wouldn’t know;

Asking her about me.

I leaned against the kitchen slab

As I saw you both bond over

Cookies, coffee and stories of me.

You gasped, rolled your eyes and laughed throughout,

Listening to every story,

Drawing similarities between her version of me and, yours,

Glancing my way every now and then

To let me know that you’d taken one step closer towards home.

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