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Jul 2021
from Webster's: Totem(n) - among some peoples, an animal or natural object taken as the symbol of a family or clan.

Totem scenes: My real home
written November 5th, 1997

I wonder
what is a real home?
It's a question I used to think
I knew the answer to.

My real home growing up
was of course the one I lived in
where bits of pottery and votive candles
formed totem scenes on end tables.

There was a mystery to these totem scenes:
candle stick, corn husk doll, pottery bowl;
all arranged according to some greater pattern
that I didn't understand, but knew was pivotal.

Each day, I came home from school
putting all the things in their places
clearing away anything that didn't belong
in the totem scenes.

Then I would dust,
moving each item from its place:
ornament, woven bowl, carved animal;
and polish with lemon scented Pledge.

I'd then return, each totem item
carefully back to its appointed place
trying to place each in the same place and order
as it had been in before.

But inside I always worried,
No . . . I knew that
because I didn't understand the greater pattern
of where each item belonged,

somehow my false reproductions
of the totem scenes
cracked the very foundation
of my real home.
Another early poem that I recently found after thinking they were lost.
Written by
clmathew  52/F
   Inked Quill
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