Welcome Home

it has been awhile since I’ve been home
the cat barely recognizes me
but it didn’t take long for him to warm up
before he went back to licking himself
that is what they do, lick things—
plastic bags and themselves mostly
though, he is a good mouser
for not having front claws
I was given a gift once
a dead and oddly wet mouse carcass
probably licked it to death
the carpet is a wreck from puke stains
I’ll most likely have to burn it
the walls are the same
but I think they missed me a little bit
I can hear fireworks in the distance
as I lay in this potato sack of a bed
It’s not even a holiday
but seems to be the new normal
fireworks on June 6th, all of July
sometime in mid August
sometimes you are just a lump
moving from place to place
and I guess you have to be ok with that
to be ok

Photo by Ken Tomaro

Ken Tomaro

What is the significance of this work to you? 

I had been staying with my girlfriend a lot during the pandemic and hadn’t been home for a while. He is an extremely friendly cat, always in my face…always. Since I hadn’t been home a lot it took him a minute to come up to me and then acted as if I never left. I looked around the room and between going to work, staying with my girlfriend and not being home I got the feeling briefly that I was just floating through life with nowhere specific to call home.

What is the significance of the form you chose for this work? 

I don’t really follow forms. I wrote a short poem recently about being a regular blue collar guy who wears jeans and t-shirts and sits in his work office spitting words at the clouds. I don’t know the names of famous poets or the various forms of poetry. I just write what pops into my head.

What was your process for creating this work? 

The same process for any of my poetry. Living with depression means having random, mundane, nonsensical thoughts in your head all the time. If I can make a second or third sentence from the original thought, then I have a poem. If not I move on to the next random thought.

Ken Tomaro is an artist and writer living in Cleveland, Ohio whose work has been published in several literary journals. He has also published three collections of poetry available on Amazon. His writing reflects an open, honest view of everyday mundane life living with depression.