Project Description

This Place I Call Home | Melissa Osterhoudt

I walk through my home
This place where babies were born and suckled
Hearts broken and mended
So many moons I’ve known these walls
This brick and mortar
Infused with my own sweat and blood and love . . .
I live and laugh in this place
A circle of familiar faces
Parade across the terrain of my life
My soul has taken root
Love and friendship blooms and thrives
My children grow strong and free like weeds
This is a place they can always return to
A place to grow old
The parade continuing
And when this flower of my life
Finally withers and falls
They will have scattered my seeds
And still I’ll be planted here
Surrounded by those I love
Basking in the sun
Crying with the rain
Planting spectral butterfly kisses
Upon the plump cheeks
Of my grandchildren’s grandchildren
Tickling their toes with summer breezes
And whispering wise secrets
Planting new seeds of knowing
Deep in the loamy soil of their hearts
Nourishing their roots with conviction
No matter where they roam
They will always be called to this place
This place I call home.

Home | Melissa Osterhoudt

Three babies were born here
A terrifying force of blood and spent bodies
Quiet coos, tiny suckling mouths
Oceans of tears
A torrent of laughter
Passion and ritual are grounded here
Love grows with the lilies
Chaos regularly takes over
Screaming children
Chasing, wrestling, making birthday wishes
Dirt and dishes copulate here
A never ending, dizzying spiral
From one year to the next
My son grows from boy to man
Bursting at the seams
The moon passes over here
Her belly grows full and fallow hundreds of times
I watch her passage like my own body
I need not even my eyes to see
The place where the floor slants dangerously
The mountain of laundry
Strewn across the girls’ room
Where the placenta landed
Or where we last made love
I know every nail and rattling window by heart
I creep silently through the dark
Listening to my children breathe and dream
Each room is filled with memories
They echo across the years
Planes fly overhead and still
I hear the sound of babies
Crying, sleepless nights
The sound of the tub filling and dishes clanking
So much music and laughter
Walking from one room to the next
I am a time traveler
My life so rich
All Life’s offerings have been had here
The quiet panic of not knowing how we’d make rent
Broken hearts and bones
Countless desperate tears
My eyes are closed
Yet I know every step and moment as if it were my own flesh
The unfinished paint job
The quirky wiring
The way the sink leaks every few months
As if the house were a body and we the organs