NaPoWriMo Day 28: Nomad

by Rachel Creager Ireland

I thought myself a nomad, rootless,
in love with the road, addicted to the new.
I lived on little, shrank my footprint,
claimed no place as home. Felt at home
in no place. I “followed the energy,”
committed to nothing and no one.
The world could end at any moment,
and I didn’t waste time on pursuits
that might not fruit in the foreseeable
future. I caught rides to distant cities
to protest oppression, met people
who held exotic political ideals,
followed them to coops and gatherings,
ate brown rice from my bare hands
when I didn’t have a bowl (“Hand food
is the best food!”), hitchhiked to wilderness
to protest logging of old-growth forest.
I could live here, I sometimes thought,
in the mountains of Idaho,
in Jamaica Plain, Madison, Missoula,
Eugene. But I never really did,
just stopped for a few days or a year,
never signed a lease, never took a job
I couldn’t walk away from tomorrow.
Slept on a pile of pillows, or a friend’s floor,
or a bare mattress scavenged from the street.
Went to bed drunk, too restless to sleep.