My father never explained his wanderlust.
We did not discuss such things in our family.
After every overseas contract ended
we headed back home ‒ for good. I came to learn
for good never meant we’d be staying as home
grew more alien. Then we stopped going back,
so home came to mean the countries we moved to.
And for good nothing but deracination,
that permanent state of being l’étranger
by language, custom, and unfamiliar diet.
In all odysseys the ancient theme recurs ‒
nostos ‒ the coming home to one’s hearth and kin
after the outward journey’s distant labours.
All my arduous roaming has brought me here.
© Tony Ullyatt, 2022