“Home,” a poem written by Silvia Roma, halts my breath every time I read it. There is a scene in Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic series where budding weather witch Trisana Chandler attempts to control the tide, absorbing the energy into herself and the boulder she sits on until it almost destroys her and disintegrates the boulder in the process. “Home” surges forth with the power of a tide withheld, spitting words like bullets.
The cadence of the piece makes it perfect for spoken word; you can hear the silences and the echoes of the words, the fire blazing just beneath the ink. As the poem declares, it is “not a song… not even a call to action,” but a story. Story is a tool we use to shape the world; “Home” declares that some stories are not up for dispute. The stories of our bodies and the acceptance of our bodies are not and cannot be contingent on the narratives of anyone outside that body.
Roma’s poem is a Declaration of Independence from stories dictated by a culture that wants to declare a dictatorship over our self-perception and appearance. It is the story of a revolution carried out in the curves of a body and the scars of a mind subjected to judgment and otherness and unworthiness. It is a joyous testimony of self-love that was fought for and earned, a radical act that should be anything but.
“Home” is not a call to action, but it tells of action in motion, the speaker’s daily remembrance of who they are and the home they deserve to feel inside their own body. To have that idea, the story of a person defining the shape of their own story, in the world and reverberating… That is beautiful.
A word of caution to this tale: these are my own humble thoughts I detail, as authorial intent I cannot unveil