Home. With me.

The old, old house stands brooding, silent, empty, shuttered.
Peeling paint, peeling memories, peeling years, decaying.
Squeaking gate unhinged, cracked stone steps, black holes gape between them,
Give way to wild rose and dandelions, crabgrass, spurge and apples.
Skinned shins on broken porch boards; cobwebs make me shrink.
Ancient knocker of green-tinged brass, dolphins dancing on their tails.
Quiet the knocker, there’s no one home, no need to break the spell.
Inside, dark, the stairwell creaks beneath soft steps; why am I so quiet?
Master bed and rusty springs, rusty tears discolor the sink.
Cloudy, cracked mirror hides its faces, nothing there to see.
Floorboard creaks and, moved aside, a shaft of light reflects.
Beneath, boy’s treasure, cigar box full of baseball cards, a whistle, and a rock.
Bedrooms, closets, attic, nursery; musty smells of youth grown old.
Quiet again, I tiptoe down the stairs; who might I awaken?
The heart of a house the kitchen, mama’s voice the rhythm;
Rolling, kneading, slicing; mixing, baking, roasting; nourishing.
Holding hands around the table, they bowed their heads and prayed:
“Give us this day our daily bread, we thank you for your blessings.”
The old, old, house holds nothing now, even memories have fled.
Outside, I wave, and the great machine surges, wrecking ball swings high.
And as the old, old house’s back is broken, I know I hear it cry.
In my hand the cigar box treasure; I’ll take it home with me. Home. With me.

14 thoughts on “Home. With me.

  1. What a beautiful way you have with words. It is true, isn’t it? When we are gone from the house, even when the house itself is gone, we always carry our childhood home with us. “The old, old house holds nothing now, even memories have fled.” But, still I have “Home. With me.” I read your words like a gift to my soul. Thank you, Will


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