Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts

Poetry Contest Winners :: Thirty-first Contest :: Honorable Mention


by Laurel Schwartz
I ran home in the summer months after surviving a long winter in a place that was always cold
(I wore two sweaters and three pairs of socks, it didn’t help)

I spent the year trying to remember why I had come here, why I had abandoned everything and shown myself the highway at 2am with my suitcases blocking the view of what I was leaving behind
(You, in my driveway. The way that even the trees smelt of the comfort of companionship)

I spent my time going through the motions and laughing at all the right times and making all the right friends and still when people would mention home my lungs would tie themselves into a knot and my chest would pulsate with longing

People would say they loved my home and for a brief second I forgot that they meant the one that I was living in now, not the one I grew up in
(The smile didn’t reach my eyes)

Then somewhere along the way I met a gem of a human who brought me along on her adventure that she believed life to be and the world had new meaning

Suddenly the home I had built became a little bit more claimed. It was more than a bed and a comfortable space, it was a piece of my heart that sheltered my tired bones from long days

She brought me into a hidden world of joy that somehow I was missing
(I felt God wink at me and roll his eyes as he recalls my disbelief and doubt. I still feel silly)

Now I am in my childhood home and I know that I do not belong here anymore. There are all the same people and streets that I love, but now each have carved their own lives out of the wood that grew without me. I realize that even if I hadn’t moved on all these years, the whole expanse of my childhood had

I know that where I belong is no longer tethered to where I pulled myself out of the darkness, but where I discovered the light

For once in my life I am not running from myself. I am glued to the earth in a way that feels right, and I am at once finding that it is easier to breathe when people say the word "home"

I am situated firmly in who I am and where I am at, and for the first time I feel at peace

About the Author
"I am 20 years old, and will be graduating this fall with my sociology and anthropology degree. I have been writing since I was in middle school and it’s one of my greatest passions, and I hope to get published one day. My website to all of my poetry and writings is"
Third Place WinnerNext Honorable Mention
Blue Mountain Arts