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I belong here,

yet I don’t.

This land is mine,

but it’s not.

I was born and bred

in this place I call my home.

This earth is my earth,

the rivers, my blood.

My family is from here,

they have worked this land,and now rest in it.

It’s a deep bond with the land,

one that will not break.

I belong here,

yet I don’t.

This land is mine,

but it’s not.

I’ve wandered from here,

living far away from my home land,

an ocean away.

Even now I plan

to leave my ancestral home,

the place they’re buried.

It is so easy

to leave this horrible place,

and not shed a tear.

I belong here,

yet I don’t.

This land is mine,

but it’s not.

Parting is easy,

and my return will be hard.

This place clings to me,

like cloying perfume.

I can see the whole wide world,

but this is my land.

I’m not like the others,

who will call this place their home.

I have never been.

I belong here,

yet I don’t.

This land is mine,

but it’s not.

It’s a small town here,

everyone knows each other.

But I am unknown.

High school and football,

District loyalties and beer,

these shape the culture.

I am a stranger

to this old fashioned culture.

We’re frozen in time.

I belong here,

yet I don’t.

This land is mine,

but it’s not.

This place is my home,

this place I claim as my own.

I’m proud of this land,

but also ashamed.

I doubt it will ever change,

this place I call home.

I may leave it here,

but I can always come back,

and nothing will change.

~1/6/2016~

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Review of “Casual Vacancy”

For those readers who grew up reading J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, switching away from her world of magic and adolescence to the small town world of Pagford is like hearing your favorite band from high school’s new album- the voice is the same, but it’s grown up. The issues Rowling portrayed through her latest novel proved to be a far cry from any Harry and his friends faced, which is why I suspect so many people have negatively commented on this book.

Although initially slow, the plot revolved neatly on the vacancy left by Barry Fairweather, picking up pace as Rowling pushed through the stories of the adults and the adolescents in Pagford. The power struggle is gripping, and the story rapidly pulls the reader in, emotionally and mentally and demands a response.

Layering the plot with class struggle, marital problems, the angst and trouble of teenagers, domestic abuse, and the basest of humanity’s qualities, Rowling somehow manages to tie it all off with a bittersweet ending. This novel was deliciously familiar and a literary piece of genius (as always), but not appropriate for younger teens or children.