Home Is

Home is–a place

Behind the stained glass doors

The entranceway with stacks of shoes

The rug caked with the dogs’ DNA

The kitchen where food crackles and pops like laughs at the dinner table

Crash! Smash! Dad breaks another personal weightlifting record

Sitting together as the movie opens

Snuggled under blankets by the warmth of the fire

The ominous creak as you walk up the stairs

The scars on my bedroom door from dogs’ scratches 

The bedroom that has kept me safe and harbored me for so many years


Home is–community

The smell of taco steam wafting from the corner restaurant 

My school since kindergarten, just blocks away 

Pillow polo with the same gym teacher for the past nine years

The talent show, being a safety patrol

The park where countless pickup basketball games have been played 

My closest friends’ houses like my second and third homes  

The UPenn college campus where my dog and I roam

The water oasis only three blocks away–summer joy swimming with friends  


Home is–a feeling

Love, comfort, support, courage, resilience

The love of licks and cuddles that my dogs give unconditionally 

The comfort of laying on my sister’s cloud pillow

The support from my mother when a school assessment nears

The courage my 75-pound dog gives me when she goes outside at night

The resilience my dad inspires when I get injured playing sports


Home is–activities

When the ping pong ball drops after the sweep of my racket hits it over the net 

The bounce of the basketball against the cold stone patio, then the swish

The pitter-patter of my feet in the hall as I practice fencing advances and retreats

My fingers slamming against the keyboard – I am alive, I am dead, I am respawned 

The beep of the oven, the cinnamon sugar aroma, snickerdoodles ready to devour

Drew Feldman is an 8th grader at Penn Alexander School. He lives in West Philadelphia with his sister, parents, and two dogs. Drew is a competitive fencer. In addition to writing poetry, he also enjoys filmmaking and editing, as well as coding. In the future, he hopes to become a software engineer or a lawyer. Next year Drew will be attending Friends Central School.