like a Palestinian boy with just a pile of rock

i am helpless

they are the invaders

they have invaded

grammie’s garden cutting down the bell tree

planting sustainable drought resistant grasses

that don’t take me home like the smell

of honeysuckle that used to greet me

reminding me of grammie’s song & lemonade

made from the lemons on the tree that grew by

the back door since I was too little to reach the fruit

gone to clear room for the cedar wood deck

with designer outdoor furniture

to hold lean tan young bodies

& coolers of imported beer

to compliment the grilled artichokes

dipped into hummus

dusted with garlic chives

served cold

where did the laughter that grew wild

beyond the okra patch near the collards go

we used to harvest it in hard times to

remind ourselves we were blessed even

in the lean times the green shoots reminded

us we were human and able

all gone now paved over

in cement with raucous colored

stones painted to resemble animals

from fantasy’s no medicine tree

they shaved it down to the roots

this can’t be healed the

wound will remain

a scar on top of scars

to remind me of dirt I do not own

like the new doors on the house

bright red with big numbers

there was a door with marks

to show how we had grown

in the back hall near the creaky stairs

gone like the smell of lavender

on Sunday morning

& the smell of chicken stuffed with cornbread

steaming on the stove waiting after church

gone the earnest dreams of belonging

packed into the suitcase with the rest

of what we could carry

not everything would fit

so we left it

to be painted over

torn down

remade into something we are not

in the place we used to call home