Front step broken,
front door deeply cracked,
generations of paint.
Scratches around the keyhole,
fingerprints around the knob.

On the hall table a notebook
kept by the children:
lists of the birds that came,
drawings of themselves
playing in the snow.

A little too much furniture:
rickety tables, soft chairs,
iron plant stands that once held potted ferns.
A battered dresser with crockery not chipped enough to toss,
a few old letters, knick-knackery, a blotted book.

Behind the tattered draperies, on the walls,
crayoned drawings the children made:
snowmen and cats and sleeping dogs,
the smiling sun shining on a cottage
with its red roof, ascending smoke.

March 12, 2007

One comment on “OLD HOUSE

  1. erieffel says:

    how can a lover of old houses not love this poem? the details are delicious, and i like the understated air of emptiness amid all the stuff and life of the house.

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