Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Missing Home--By Laura M. Kaminski--United States

Missing Home

for Antoni Okafor

The missing it never passes, it is a fire that never
goes out, a love and longing that never consumes
itself into embers. It is the parched dust of harmattan

in the mouth, sitting in sight of a jug of shade-cooled
water, and having no hands with which to pick it, bring it
to the lips. It is remembering the warmth of the soil on

the feet, the sweetness of ripe mango on the tongue,
but being ever confined to socks and shoes, with stale
white bread in the kitchen instead of fruit or cocoyam.

The missing is when the well has gone dry, and you check
the flame tree daily to see if it will blossom with the promise
of rainy season returning, but each day, nothing. Missing

is the sleepless night, and the dawn that never comes.

Laura M. Kaminski grew up in northern Nigeria, went to school in New Orleans, and currently lives in rural Missouri. She is an Associate Editor at Right Hand Pointing, and writes poetry in both English and Hausa.  Her most recent poetry collection is Dance Here (Origami Books, an imprint of ParrĂ©sia Publishers Ltd in Lagos, Nigeria).


  1. This is the longing for home and for a past we are afraid we will not find it again, lost perhaps forever. Some fellings that only attack those who have lived with love in the heart. Like the author - Laura Kaminski.

    1. Edilson, thank you for reading, and for your kind words, sir. I am most grateful to call you friend. - Laura

    2. I remember this poem! But there is hardly any that I don't anyway written by you! Such beauties you create!

  2. Replies
    1. I'm reminded of this bit from "The Immigrant's Dilemma," by Daniel Alarcon: “Leaving is no problem. It’s exciting actually; in fact it’s a drug. It’s the staying gone that will kill you.”

  3. I also yearn to laugh and joke and eat with family back home in South Africa...the memories linger on

  4. Thank you all so much!
    Tony, thanks for the insightful connection. I'm going to have to read his book.
    Karen, thank you for giving this poem a home, and holding a space here at Whispers where we all feel welcome. - Laura