Go Home, Kid

Go Home, Kid
Tayla Vannelli

Sorrow pulls on my jacket.
I stumble along, a forced smile
ripping my cheeks into lines,
rather than crinkling my eyes.

I drag my shadow to work,
shove some joy in my pockets.
Today, I will distract myself
from the ache to run away.

I load my days with excitement:
activities, adventures, anything
to let me pretend I’m not counting
the minutes until my flight home.

I see loved ones in passing faces.
Night brings silence and loneliness,
but also hope, because another day
has brought me closer to August.

Soon, my family will drive me away.
My plane will await my arrival;
I will finally fly home to school
and put an end to this summer apart.

My life is in Georgia now.
I dread school breaks meant for joy.
No one understands my homesickness.
I’m at “home.” It’s just the wrong one.