A Home Within by Emily Finch The stars of this world, those that truly get it: have a home within. If you know, you know and you probably got an imaginary friend. Or two, or ten. It takes time to let it sink in and embrace the home you made within. It allowed you to love for love's sake, and bury your indifference. You keep running, they keep running, we all keep running from the tree of life — A tree in the garden of compassion. Gave it up for a cold world: stats, death and data. Prejudice, empty prayers, dogma. Most everyone thinks we’re right— And we are! But we’re wrong when we try to ignore another’s pain another’s exile another’s trial another’s oppression another’s faith another’s resistance another’s essence another’s beautiful smile another’s fears another’s desires. How we’re truly made. It’s not too late to step back, to listen. It’s not too late to recognize and mourn the suppression we endured and in good faith, repent for the wounds we prolong and inflict on others. It’s time to come together and create a home within. A safe home in ourselves where we can break bread but we don’t overstep. Where if we transgress we can forgive but never forget. We can learn to respect ourselves and one another even if that means opening a door or if it means closing one forever. We can give back but our hands are not forced— we can breathe, dance, chant relax rest. We are like stars shining bright together each uniquely beautiful the way we arrive and the way we burn out. Some quietly, some violently but all majestically. We are together apart and apart together in a home within. About Emily Finch Emily Finch (she/her/hers) is a former member of Oregon Foster Youth Connection (OFYC), and participates in a Portland support group facilitated by A Home Within. She has been writing poetry since she was 9 years old, the age she entered foster care.