homestead

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    an abandoned house
    falls down from neglect
    it’s true
    I’ve seen it happen
    loneliness rots the wood
    emptiness eats away
    the foundation
    like a termite

    keep a house
    habitated and it won’t
    wear out
    as long as there are
    feet on the floor
    voices in the hall
    reasons to
    stay home

    the one who first
    drove nails into wood at
    our address
    couldn’t have known
    we would paint
    the kitchen floor
    blue with purple
    puppy paws

    when we tore out
    the plaster and lathe
    I wondered
    what escaped in the air
    trapped in the walls
    the stuff that kept
    the house from
    falling down

    this week our home
    has housed old friends
    godchildren
    my in-laws who have come
    to stay the summer
    our well-worn house
    is alive and
    very well

    Peace,
    Milton

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    5 COMMENTS

    1. Beautiful, really captures the living energy of houses.
      I often wonder what atmosphere houses my family has lived in now have, what subtle and not so subtle changes there are.
      And can a house still exist if it exists in memory, even if the building has been pulled down?

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