A Place to Call Home – poem by Jude Neale

A Place to Call Home
To Nettie Wild

Paint white-silled windows
on the rooms of the homeless.

Fill them with hollyhocks and sky.

Let the honeyed light filter in
flooding the room
like pale cream on milk,
laughter spilling over sorrow.

May they fall into the sweep of stars
glittering their hard-eyed promise
over the lintel and stoop.

There’s a path in front;
it wavers and crosses
a meandering stream,

where it falls and falls again
into gleaming rain bowed glory.

They say build your own house
from dignity and pride.

Yet they know nothing really

of disappearing into innuendo,
or the grey incomplete answer
that swings like twilight
through dusky memory.

Paint an open door to enter through.

For the feral cat
curls round the rug,
she dreams of fire
and the yielding warmth
of your lap,
as you settle deep
in the plain wooden chair.

Paint a small bed,

draw up the covers,

and rest

like a wild salmon
finding her singular way
home.

A Place to Call Home by Jude Neale was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2017) judged by Abegail Morley.

splendid in its silence by Jude Neale
Splendid in its Silence is Jude Neale’s prizewinning poetry collection published by SPM Publications.