It’s not like I miss it that much, but it’s the only home I know.
Our block had a catholic church on it with a statue of the Virgin out front. I went to the adjacent catholic school for a year. Could have been first grade. My uniform was burgundy and white, I think. I remember knee-high socks were involved. Not to mention the nuns and their rulers.
It wasn’t the hairiest block by far––ghetto light vs. ghetto heavy? One time there was a fire across the street in my friend’s building. The orange fire seemed to go all the way up to the night sky.
Years later I would read a NY Times article listing my block as one of the worst. That’s according to the police. I guess they would know.
Homes where children live exude a pleasant rumpledness,
like a bed made by a child, or a yard littered with balloons.
To be a child again one would need to shed details
till the heart found itself dressed in the coat with a hood.
Now the heart has taken on gloves and mufflers,
the heart never goes outside to find something to “do.”
And the house takes on a new face, dignified.
––excperted from “Where Children Live” by Naomi Shihab Nye