I never felt my home,
When I felt it from the bone
I had to leave for the unknown

I lived in Mexico,
My childhood says hello
Feels like so many weeks ago—
Then, I had to leave for the unknown

And Bulgaria
Growing up as an outsider
Yet it made my heart feel wider—
Still, I had to leave for the unknown

And then I left
To Greece
My heart’s still cleft,
It felt like a real home
Where I felt a real belonging—
Still, I had to leave for the unknown

Now here in Romania
I still have a longing
My heart has grown a hole
For my home,

ik mis het gevoel van thuis,
I miss the feeling of belonging,
en bij elke beweging mis ik een deel van mezelf,
I can’t manage to stay intact,
ik heb alleen mijn familie nog,

Like a butterfly with no wings,
I feel trapped
Covered in stings.

Like a base without strings,
I feel a mind
Just holding on to things.

We cannot be sad
We cannot feel alone
We cannot be mad

A home isn’t just a house
A house can even be a hole
A hole can even make you whole.

Grade 8 student Charlotte J. wrote this poem in English Language & Literature class in response to a prompt to write a poem reflecting on place, culture, and identity. It was selected for publication by her teacher for its relatability and unique voice.