Going Back

Like most writers, I have a sort of love/hate relationship with the state that I grew up in. This is a poem about the last time I visited Oklahoma.

Going Back

My friend said, as I sneezed,

“There’s Kleenex in the window.
I assumed you’re allergic to Oklahoma.”
I laughed at her incredible truth.
I watched Fox News for the chalk illustrations of fracking.
I felt the earth quake underneath me,
But felt more connected to my friends than ever,
Even unplugged from the web.
I watched people of my generation rise up
Against racism, and I am proud.
I revisited my old haunts,
I rekindled old friendships,
I remembered what I loved,
And was in awe of change.
In isolation I fell into deep depression,
When I realized some folks had changed for worse,
And other folks had ceased to believe they could for better.
Some give in to fear, some give in to hate,
Some give in to pain, and some give in to fate.
They bulldozed the building where my soulmate and I met.
They bulldozed the one field of happiness I had.
I was distracted by sweet synchronicities,
But empowered by a childlike faith,
And the blessings of heroes and friends.
I told my friend I had to go,

And she said that’s TMI,
I said, “Sorry, I’ve held it in for so long,
That it all just wants to come out.”
I meant my opinions, but we laughed.
I spoke my truth through my art.
I made an album, but lost a friend,
Which in some ways makes the art meaningless.
The only thing I can control is my art.
Life is sweet chaos interrupted by moments of peace.
Oklahoma, I wish you well, but I do not belong in you.
I flew in two days after a snowstorm,
Was spoiled by good weather and rain,
And left two days before a tornado struck again.

This poem was published as a part of Look Ma! No Hands! If you dig it, please support the author, and grab a copy!

D.L. Lang
D.L. Lang
D.L. Lang of Vallejo, CA is the author of nine poetry collections, including 2016's Poet Loiterer which Kirkus Reviews described as containing "Free-spirited ideals couched in fairly infectious rhymes." She enjoys performing her poems at open mics and entering them in county fairs.