I just wanna come home dad

by Daniel J. Flore III
Third Place, December 2019
Judged by Laurie Byro

I remember the big green weeds
when I asked if I could come home
“I’m right down the street at Don’s couldn’t I just come home?”
the answer was no
on the way back to Don’s I wrapped my body in the big green leaves
and smashed through the chipping white painted walls and exposed brick
right into the house

Because of its compression and also a memorable and poignant transformation, I was excited to read "I just wanna come home dad." It says much in a few lines. I would consider punctuating it to emphasize this reduction. This is a poem I have carried with me, almost haunting in how the estranged son enshrouds the house. Like the gothic story, The Yellow Wall-paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, it is subversive regarding powerlessness and madness in a troubled relationship. I might replace big green leaves with ivy for more specificity, as the crawling ivy might work to further emphasize the detachment between father and son. Ground creeping ivy is the image I got from the metonymy used here. --Laurie Byro