I skip across the bleached grass to Anita’s farm looking for him. The rotted wooden gate sinks into my seven year old left hand as my right fingers wrestle with the shorn fibers of the rope holding the door closed. I clumsily try for three minutes finally opening the door. Darn fingers. My grandmother is superstitious and last week she switched my dominant hand from left to right.
“In Deutschland ist das pech (In Germany it’s bad luck to be left handed)”.
Where is Herr Jahn? Entering the main house I see a tiny litter of wet kittens in the crevice of the doorway. A familiar scent of warm bread washes over me and I remember it is near lunchtime. He should be here. I tentatively step past the kittens into the hallway leading to the kitchen. Scattered items greet my blotchy bare feet; an empty mixing bowl; a remnant of a wet unreadable piece of paper; something unidentified and sticky. Finding nothing I turn back across the room, across the farm and enter the pathway leading to my foster home. The slight smell of early lilacs lives in the front garden. On the path to the back of the house chickens arrive at my feet, lingering appreciating my company and indicating that no one else is home. Ensconced in the center of the back porch I look toward the small country house.
Decades later I see a frayed black and white picture of my aunt standing in just this spot holding an infant I learn is me.
I realize how long this has been my home.