It Hits You

Alone, on my way home
for Thanksgiving one year–

pleased to finally be an adult
(of legal drinking age, that is)
with (semi)proper virtues,
some decisions to make, some to cage
out of college, supporting myself
living on my own, away from family;
no longer a burden with no breaks–

a storm began to brew, little taps
grew into thunderous clunks
with each passing mile, a hangover
from last night’s drunk,
only it wasn’t.

Halfway there, feverish chills
of cold lightning bolts
followed by rushes of hot lava,
driving through a ditch,
or was it a bend in the road?

Hallucinations a mirage,
diminishing thoughts
of independence swarm,
a wish for a bridge
to my childhood palace
with Mom’s loving arms.

When I finally arrived,
she stood at the door.
I said I was SICK,
and with her help
dragged my feet up the steps
to my glorious room
where I crashed in my childhood bed
four days, dreaming of poetry
and pumpkin pie.

Prompt inspirations:

The Sunday Whirl 91- burden, bends, drunk, poetry, virtue, palace,
ditch, diminishing, wish, breaks, room, steps

dVersePoets: Poetics w/ Stu- Growing Up

*I was still sick when I had to leave that Sunday.

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Filed under Characterization, dVerse Poetry, Family, Health, Holidays, laurie kolp poetry, Love, Memoir, Poetics, Thanksgiving

51 responses to “It Hits You

  1. rmp

    I don’t think age matters much; there is always something about home and the loving arms of childhood that draw us in when the worst seems to crash in on us. although I imagine the first time it hits unwittingly shakes us the most.

    lovely verse; I enjoyed the way you made that car ride seem quite crushing.

  2. mmm glad you had that place to go….and the where with all to admit you were sick as well….it was near that time i finally admitted i needed it as well…and woke up a bit from that dream…

  3. There really is something wonderful about having that safety net in one’s parents’ home, isn’t it? It is nice to be a ‘grown up’ with some of the grown up perks, but it is nice to know that you can go ‘home’ again and be welcomed and cared for and treated with mom’s love and pumpkin pie!

  4. Sorry that you really had to be sick, because this poem fits me and my Mom even without the flu. When I drag up there to visit, she and Dad pick me up at the train and bring me home to nap, read and eat. They take care of me, and they are 88 to my 61. I intend to enjoy this babying as long as I can now (though I was too proud for about 3 decades). I’ll surely miss it when it inevitably reverses.

  5. dreaming of poetry
    and pumpkin pie….so good to be at home…esp. when sick…oh i can imagine how wonderful it must’ve been when you saw your mom at the door

  6. jasmine calyx

    I love this:
    “a wish for a bridge
    to my childhood palace”

    And your last three lines.

  7. I know I had to come home to Mom more than once…unfortunately not for the flu…even though she makes a mean chicken soup…fantastic play to the prompt Laurie…I don’t know if there will ever come a time when I don’t run home…comes with my blatant refusal to grow up, I guess. If they stopped letting me…maybe I’d have to ;)

  8. Pingback: It Hits You | Pure Poetry |

  9. Laurie, this a great take on the prompt, because you write about someone (yourself) who thinks, as we all do when we start to fly the nest, that they are all grown up and fully independent – however, the comfort that home brings, the connection between parent and child always remains

  10. i know this feeling. boy do i ever. “well realized,” as all of the pros say. i say it’s awesome.

  11. I like the journey and feeling safe in mother’s arms and home ~

    I always feel I am a child back in my parent’s house ~ Good one Laurie ~

  12. Thank God for Mom and home to go to…even when we’re grown up. Really enjoyed this glimpse of your journey Laurie.

  13. No matter how old we get there’s no place like home… Nice write!

  14. One of my favorite smells is pumpkin pie. Very soothing spicy smell. I liked your poem. Hangovers are the worst, one reason I don’t drink often now. Nice job.

  15. So true Laurie, there’s no place like home and the warm comfort of being held close by your family. A great story and take on the prompt.

  16. Childhood illnesses, I missed a plethora of them but its interesting to read of your experiences Laurie x

  17. Laurie–wow, you caught this so well. no matter how big we are, no matter how strong, there are times we just want our MOMS.

  18. I have felt this. Sometimes home is where you need to be.

  19. J Cosmo Newbery

    Glad you made it safely home. Mothers, bed and time, the best medicine sometimes.

  20. Glenn Buttkus

    Had less of a home to visit than most, losing my Mom when she was 39, but now as a grandfather, with 3 daughters on their own, it is grand to reside in the place they love to return to.

  21. It’s such an assurance to be back home with Mom around. Many crave for this but some couldn’t. Nicely Laurie!


  22. totally agree that being in the circle of mom’s arms (even now when i am an adult) can cure anything..
    loved these lines and i wish for this always too:
    a wish for a bridge
    to my childhood palace

  23. Nobody helps a sick person quite like Mom. Pure comfort. I love this poem! Thanks for sharing!

  24. she was there when you needed her…and made that giant step a bit easier to take, I’m sure, but what a harrowing drive!

  25. Totally great, a wonderful tale superbly told.

  26. glad you arrived safely =)

  27. Got any of that pumpkin pie left…?
    Great post!

  28. Veronica Roth

    Lovely whirl Laurie. :) Hey, I just remembered, my older children, (32 and 30) still call my house their home. Hope it always stays like that.

  29. Sounds like you has a doozy. What a great description. You inrterwove the storm metaphor so well, I had to stop and reread at one point to affirm, not a storm outside, but one in.

  30. I adore the “Birdseed for chirps” heading first of all….

    The poem is a wonderful story filled with vivid images.

  31. I’ve sometimes had this feeling not only when just “grown up”, but even now, years later, after having lived independently for ages. A reminder that no matter how much we grow up, we will always be our parents’ children, and that there will always – hopefully – be some comfort in what we call home.

  32. You’ve captured that back and forth feeling of young adults. Freedom vs. the comforts of childhood. Sickness makes them need our love. Thanks for sharing this, Laurie. I enjoyed my read.

  33. Comfort… you nail it in this one… bed, rest, warmth.

  34. this was my favorite stanza –

    Halfway there, feverish chills
    of cold lightning bolts
    followed by rushes of hot lava,
    driving through a ditch,
    or was it a bend in the road?

  35. When I have the occasional nightmare, more times than not, I find myself calling out for Mom. Your poem reminded me of that sense of comfort and security found no where else. Thanks for this one,


  36. Too bad your were sick. But, nice that you received Mom’s comfort. Made me recall those feelings.

  37. Oh, the bliss of being ill with a Mum to cosset you. I love the way you wordled a really good story from the material.

  38. Who says you can’t go home again? I love the way it ends with “dreaming of poetry / and pumpkin pie.” And the description of the drive, descending into illness – visceral.


  39. To have a mom to love you and care for you through illness is such a blessing. Love the ending, “dreaming of poetry and pumpkin pie.”

  40. Great write! Lots of vivid emotion in this! Excellent ending. Love it!

  41. There is nothing like illness to bring home (bad pun-sorry) how much we need the things we thing we have grown out of. Great writing Laurie.

  42. Beautifully depicted – I could almost feel the chills with you – and excellent blend of being able to use both prompts … well done.

  43. Really enjoyed the journey from thinking yourself totally independent to needing the love, care and comfort that only a good home can provide – although I don’t envy you the flu! I think that stage of thinking ourselves more independent than we actually are is something we all have to go through – and it’s probably only when we’ve made it through that in one piece (sadly, many don’t) that we have raelly grown-up.

  44. I love the mix of the storm and the comfort of arriving home, Laurie. Very nicely done.


  45. Laurie, I was SO THERE about being on one’s own, not feeling like a “burden,” and yet, when you need Mom the most, she is always there, and your old bed… Riley has had these moments. But when you are sick and need comfort, what a place to arrive at… home! Lovely. Amy

  46. Oh, masterfully done – your words imspire such vivid images!

  47. Always tempted to swing past the old homestead for that caress, but there is no one there to offer it. But that still doesn’t keep me from pining. A wonder write and read, Laurie!

Birdseed for chirps

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