Home is where your ghosts roam,
where you buried the dog
you kind of neglected
in a cardboard box
too close to the garden
and every day you walk
mere feet from his bones.

Homecoming means talking to ghosts
and more, listening—
the end of the prodigal journey,
coming home, talking, listening,
letting all the old tragedies
haunt you again.

Homemaking is a practice—
sweeping the corners,
clearing the cobwebs,
listening, clearing,
the slow asymptotic ending
of all ghost stories, horrors becoming
familiar, the old deaths and heartbreaks
and betrayals becoming neighbors
not always likable but lovable,
the chills and creaks and echoes
and reminders
never quite going away
but becoming mundane
as breakfast.

"Oh, don't mind her—
that's old Beatrice.
She stabbed herself
and her husband, but
she's family now.
She's taught me a lot.
Like how to use the woodstove
and how to let go of the past."

We assume at first
they're trying to drive us out
of our own homes, our lives,
but they seek only to be heard
and understood and welcomed.
In turn they welcome us
finally back into boarded-up hearts
and daily life, daily living,
back into the practice of daily care
for our dead and our departed.