The Lights Will Guide You Home


There used to be an old shack, when I was growing up. It sat right in the middle of the slums, and yet no one really ever seemed to notice it. It wasn’t one of those things that would catch your attention, or make you stop and look. Its siding was peeling off like dead skin, weather-worn and beat down. It was cracked and sad looking. Part of its roof was caved in – an unwanted skylight in the chill of the open air. If you stood there long enough, you could see the birds that chose that space as their home duck into the hole, peek back out awhile later. Its lone window was fragmented, erupting in on itself, like someone had taken a rock to it. It wasn’t beautiful or extravagant; it wasn’t a place you wanted to linger at for too long. It wasn’t a place most people even cared to notice. It was justthere.

I remember it though, from whenever I did pass it by on errands for mother or on my way to some odd job that helped to feed to our family. And I remember how there were always lanterns, paper lanterns, strung up behind that broken window. They would shine, even so bright in the daylight, radiating their aqua blue hues and cadmium yellow rays and pomegranate kisses. I never knew how they got there, or who hung them up. They never mattered to me before. They were lights. Just like the shack, they were just… there.