The flat pavement ends abruptly, turning to white gravel

That crunches softly beneath my size six Timberlands.

To my left, the wild plum trees stand in a thick patch of briars,

For a year unripe, dormant.

It is not their time yet.

Past the "Dead End" sign that gave me nightmares as a child

And the terraced hills of prairie grass and pine trees

To my left, a collapsing mobile home once filled with cats and laughter,

For nine years vacant, dark.

It was your time I guess.

Further down is the pasture and what's left of the hay barn

The corncrib and old family homestead sit behind it.

To my left, our rusty black mailbox with two names on it,

For sixteen years partially blank, fading.

It was just that time for us.

At the end of the driveway is our blue-grey trailer

Where I grew up every other weekend and half of every holiday.

To my left, my childhood bedroom at the end of the house,

For twenty-one years mine, comforting.

It is time to go home.