Ode: Not in the U.S.A.

Wrong Side of the TracksOde:

Not in the U.S.A.

Born I was in the U.S.A. on a defunct Air Force base…
Rantoul, Illinois but my docs say: Chenute…
but it’s all the same we’re all born somewhere
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

My life was marked for travel, could have been a gypsy
lived in more places before I was 21
than most people live in their whole existence
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

I traveled from the center, like some crazy human atom
to the deep south up to the far north
from coast to coast and across the pacific…
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

Never lived in a civilian town, always on a Base
never knew out in out prejudice or wrong sides of places
never knew white trash or niggers neither, just people…
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

Oh, I just lied!  I lived in Small Town for one eternal year,
knew what it meant to be a pariah, ’cause I’d flown in a plane
an outsider, ’cause I spoke proper English, an outcast..
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

Learnt all about those rail-road tracks and shanty houses too…
learnt all about poverty and prejudice and old-time religion
alcoholics and wife beaters…I was two and ten then…
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

Happy was I to return to a base…where life was sane and safe
My gypsy life seemed finer then…after that experience
no life-long friends had I…no roots…no place…
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

I won’t lament my life my friends…my story didn’t end there
once I was on my own…I traveled even farther still
10 years in Africa…then I found my place…in Italy…an ex-pat…
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

Now I pass my days in my own home…planted like a tree
childhood gave me all the tools I need…adaptive’s what I am
Got over feeling deprived of roots…made my own you see…
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

Another sort of misfit…outcast…pariah…outsider was I
traveled far to feel at home, though a foreigner am I
basically my home’s inside myself…it’s not about a place…
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

11 thoughts on “Ode: Not in the U.S.A.

  1. Pingback: Senryu: Simply Water | Bastet and Sekhmet

  2. Good morning, Bastet!
    Your ode inspires a lot of thought: being adaptive and looking for a place to call home. Not having any childhood memories to fall back on. Experiences you had and others you couldn’t share…or did share, just now, on this blog. Which is a perfect home for thoughts without roots, isn’t it?

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    • You’ve got it dear Pipteinpteron…love writing this fantastic name! Being on the move, as a military brat, constantly, has it’s advantages and disadvantages…teaches you some great lessons and saves you from straightjacket mentality…unlike the gypsy…you don’t have a tribal group though…your roots, at best are shallow…you become more detached than most people…and this is a good place to share the experience.

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  3. this feels like a can opener… I think I’m going to have to sit with these feeling for some time – because I absolutely resonate with the sense of alienation you describe so poignantly here.

    Thank You!

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    • Ah…but t’was you who placed the can opener in place my friend…rarely have I met others who’ve lived the military brat’s childhood experience…sometimes you think it’s just a “you” thing…then you meet someone who’s been there and you vibrate to his/her tale…Thank You.

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          • now, me too!

            in that open, raw, receptive writing state, I wonder how many times stuff has bubbled up from the depths that I should’ve sat with longer than the time it takes to simply write a tanka?

            you’ve really got me thinking now, my friend…

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          • Ah…love my Tanka, Haiku and Senyru…but sometimes something calls and wants to get out…and this was actually pretty tame I guess, I’m not sure how much of the emotion gets through…cucumber cool I usually am…I’ll be happy to read your thoughts my friend…

            Like

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