Athens, 1987

A well-worn backpacker from France opens his guitar case on an Athen’s street
serenades me with Beatles songs, the only English tunes he knows.

I sit through them all, despite his heat-roiling body odour.
After this many weeks here, I am so lonely for something of home.

~ Suzanne Harris

Suzanne Harris is a writer, editor and writing coach living in Edmonton. She has been writing professionally for over 17 years, but has only recently come to poetry. She sometimes wonders what on earth took her so long.

“Home, to my mind, is a place where one is deeply connected to something larger than oneself. It is not only physical, but spiritual. Home may be a family, a house, a place, a community, a landscape, or all of these things. On any given day my home may be found in my pen and notebook. A poem. A piece of music. A rocky point on Horseshoe Bay. The rain on my office window. My son’s blonde head pressed against my ribs. It travels with me, and sometimes gets left behind, living in memory, in the sweet shade of a fig tree half a world away.”

Editor’s note: This poem is from Home and Away – a sequel to the bestselling Writing the Land (2007). Look for one poet to be featured each day as Alberta poets ponder the question “what is home?” and explore our complex relationship with working on, living with, exploiting and protecting our land and our home. For more information about the project, click here.

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