Here I am in Sarasota, Florida, homesick as I was my first morning in sleep-away camp. On top of a bunk bed my eyes opened on an unfamiliar knotty-pine ceiling, which seemed to cave in like something out of Edgar Allan Poe. That same heavy-hearted dread of the foreign unknown. All the first day's optimism, camp songs, anticipation of happy times drops dead.

What's eating you? I ask myself, and with no adult around to

answer the question, I keep rubbing my heart to make it go on beating. I'm consumed by the bird-voices of my husband and son, so far away. I am like the mad poet Holderlin, holed up in his tower, watching how into the familiar drifts the unknown. It's this uprootedness, like an orchid dangling its roots out of an open box, grasping for air -- this freedom I desired. But my only company is a terrified child. There, there, I tell myself, petting her stringy hair. Where? she asks, eyes panicky. We are both such a long way from home.

My son at age three or four used to ask, what exactly did Kryptonite do to Superman? Krypton: his birthplace. Did it make him homesick? I remember how Superman used to look, propped up on one heroic elbow, sickly-smiling, embarrassed, eyes half-closed. That killing little shining piece of the home planet in his hand.


Liz Rosenberg is author of "Children of Paradise."

Farm Fresh

What has a fragrance all its own

A uniqueness unsurpassed,

One that's known in childhood days

And in memory's eye is cast?

What evokes reminiscences

Of a carefree, perfumed day

Filled with June, Dad, home and family? --

The fresh scent of new-mown hay.

- Jane Lippy

Deep Summer

When time turns to heat

and nights are sleepless

against blistering streets

even noise stretches weary

into silence.


-- Barbara Samson Mills

Amusement Park

Ride the roller coaster

up the slope, grinding,

cold-speeding down.

No sight.

Reach the beginning again

-! with your soul rocking-green.


-- Barbara Samson Mills

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