By Sara Malott
Of course I love you,
and of course I will miss you
to the moon and back,
but I can’t stay here.
There’s nothing left for me;
nothing at all.
I want to go away and make new memories.
Momma, this town follows me around like a disease.
I really need to get away.
I am scared of getting stuck.
Like a little oak tree in a forest of oak trees,
I don’t want my roots to get too comfortable.
I think the longer I stay,
the harder it will be to go.
No, I’m not sure where I want to go.
I want to write,
and I want to have kids to tell stories to,
but I don’t want them to be raised here.
To most of the people in this town,
I’m just someone’s niece
or someone’s granddaughter.
They see my last name and they know who I am.
It’s like a title
that wasn’t meant for me.
I see the old guys at the football games.
Graduate class of ‘73
They talk about old Coach Hammer
like they just had his class the other day.
They never leave.
Why would they?
Their whole lives are here.
This is all they have to hold onto.
I will never be just here or just high school.
That’s why I have to go.
I might come back to visit though,
because as much as I hate to admit it,
this town raised me.
These people made me who I am.