I spent 21 years in the military. A few of those years I lived in various barracks rooms in the States and in Germany. I tried to figure out why barracks rooms never were "home" to me, but all the other places I had lived were.

Don't think I succeeded, but the following poem explores some of the thoughts I had along the way.

A Barracks Room is Not a Home

I did not live in barracks rooms for long,
Although it seemed longer,
Than many other things I have done,
That lasted
The same amount of time...

Or less!

Every home where I have lived,
Had walls, doors, windows, a bathroom.

Every barracks where I have lived,
Had walls, doors, windows, a bathroom.

None had a kitchen!

But somehow, that is not the difference.

I did not own the barracks, but...
Neither have I owned all but one
Of the places I called "home".

It was not ownership either, I guess.

Was it family?

Perhaps, but in the barracks,
I had brothers,
Often closer than family.

Not that, apparently.

The army gave me,
"Three hots and a cot,"
A family of sorts,
And a room to live

And paid me as well.

Yet, I was not home.

This apartment,
Smaller than at least one barracks room
In Germany, that I once
Shared with eleven other soldiers,
Is home.


I don't know.

Yet somehow it is home,
My old barracks room were not.

It is a mystery,
Yet I know that it is true.

Perhaps it is just because,
I say that it is so.
If I believe that a place is home,
It is.

Copyright Donovan Baldwin

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Donovan Baldwin
Fort Worth, Texas

Original poetry by Donovan Baldwin

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A Barracks Room - An Original Poem by Donovan Baldwin
Page Updated 12:21 PM Sunday 3 June 2018