Although I know that every ounce of nostalgia is poison,

whenever I touch old furniture, especially if it’s strong beyond repair,

if the legs are jointed in, if the underbelly of it reads Ill., Penn., or Va.

in faded gothic lettering and in light gold paint, I, too, can hear a faint


hello: tobaccoed hands cupped across the valley, calling us all back home

to a wide childhood of mustard poultice burns and watermelon pickles,

now irredeemably lost. I suppose this is why when men with paunches,

if they do have paunches, who listen to too much of the Savage Nation


(while sandblasting or truck driving or handling invoices for cattle feed

or car oil or lengths of industrial chain), say the words socialist, or disability,

or real America, I don’t speak up. I mean, what could I say anyway? Except

I know, I know it Charlie; sometimes I want to go home, too.