Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby


Book Excerpt: Unopened


Visiting my parents
I stay in my childhood home
Which is nothing like my childhood home
In the same way I am nothing like the childhood me
Except when I am

The house is ravaged by time, with chipped wood and worn carpet
Deep scratches in the linoleum where the walkers and wheelchairs
Made their way into our lives
Turning the essence of mid-century dreams
Into twenty-first century disrepair. Different.
Reflecting a journey and a collective state
In the same way they are nothing like my childhood parents
Except when they are

Tonight it’s Turner Classic Movies, holding hands and watching
Dancing, singing, and laughing at the Aragon Ballroom
Or the Edgewater Beach Hotel. Chicago.
I see them clearly. Younger. Third-hand memories.
I only know because they told me what it was like
To be stranded in a place with nothing left to plan
In the same way nothing is as it used to be
Except when it is

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