As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Jerry Brunoe – Poetry

Love Poem # 53: Home and Roads

for Agha Shahid Ali    



She speaks my name like it’s an aging home—

old as patience—like home waiting for home.


I didn’t mean to walk away stumbling

with the intent of forgetting my home.


If I can drive back without needing sleep—

I tend to call those places close to home.


Hallelujah and Grace are different

but both of them feels like a phone call home.


If on the corner of Love and Desire—

homeless and heartbroke—would you call that home?


My language of loss has no ear to hear,

no lips to mouth the words come, back, and home.


Something, someone, somewhere back in Warm Springs

has a tendency of calling me, Home.



I have loved enough to call something home:

rivers, lakes, forests, and the graveled road.


The homeless should be night time cab drivers

with their innate knowledge of city roads.


Afternoon convection: each windy gust

defines and redefines these dusty roads.


Who shouts out with a throat full of longing:

Where are you, Jerry, and why the Red Road?


Beloved, don’t feel exiled

for what we have both witnessed:

a country within a country

and neither with a border.


Jerry Brunoe HeadshotJerry Brunoe grew up on the Warm Springs Reservation as a Toe Good Wasco boy driving his mother crazy.  His poetry has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review, Basalt, Red Earth Review, Red Ink, Naugatuck River Review, Contrary, Sing:  Poetry from the Indigenous Americas, and others.  He pretends to know what he is doing at Toe Good Poetry.


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