The Other Side of the Hills

They look like hills
Lush and emerald in the winter
Light and feasted in the spring
Harsh and nude in the summer and fall
Yes, they look like hills
But they are in fact barriers
Between me and life

My family has robbed me of 12 years
Which I could have spent
Creating my future
And not enduring theirs
They ripped off my roots
They whisked off my wings
And transformed me into a trailer
To drag along at their command
No clear reason given
Not then, not now, not ever

In those 12 years
I could have had a job
Friends, lovers, acquaintances, experiences
A nice apartment in the Mission
Time to volunteer
Time to write
Time to walk barefoot along Ocean Beach
Time to live
Time – just time

Now I’m stuck on the other side of the hills
Where a serenade becomes a tirade
Where a symphony morphs into a cacophony
And where an encore is in fact “NO MORE”
And where the most common job is
Prostituting oneself for the serenades
For the symphonies
For the encores
Built on violated land for a relative pittance

My heart howls in horror
Every waking hour
That I’m not on the other side of those hills
Where despite the rise in prices
More opportunities are in store
Medical, social, spiritual, personal
Though some may leave in droves
I long to be back home

I fear that another move is beckoning
Far from these hills
But still on the other side
I cry
I sigh
I die.

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