Primer: A Homecoming

Amanda DeMarco
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Astrid Lindgren, I miss you. All horseshoes return home like boomerangs, all horses
fondle the uppermost ribbon of the electric fence with their articulate, prehensile
lips. A faint electrical fuzz fills the interstice. Homegoing is nothing personal,
horses go home.

All snowflakes fall to the ground. Each persimmon is wretchedly bitter then
unexpectedly sweet. How could you do this to me? America becomes sweeter the
longer you are gone. Dictionaries fall open to that very page and inevitably the
finance ministry sends a red envelope after the green one after the white.

Each child must take a role in the skit: friar and sheriff, old crone and Robin Hood. Let
them wear comical clothing. Let them write out their lines on paper bags, battered
to look like parchment. All leaves also fall to the ground, birds and houses, too. All
things fall to the ground. All the children fall to the ground in an ending of their
own invention: Robin’s friends roll on the ground in laughter at how easy it was to
disrobe the sheriff.

All creatures need sleep, children more, mules less. All mules have sad, boyish faces
and stand ass to the wind. All dogs love to taunt them. All dogs also love to taunt
turtles, to turn them over, though the turtles just return into their shells.

Pippi can lift any horse one-handed, dupe any adult. The children empty the schoolyard
when the passing bell rings. No one may stay outside. Like it or not, sheriff, we’ll
strip you and throw you back on your horse—time you go on home, now. Children
have the sweetest voices.

Doves return home. Pigeons return home. Sometimes a body just buys an airplane
ticket. Everyone wants a window seat. The whole flight you can look out the
window. Sooner or later inverted turtles turn a sclerotic eye to the outside and pivot
their limbs. No one is allowed to know how they feel.

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