NEAR THE ERIE TRACK (The House With None of Us In It)

I do not venture there anymore.
The old homestead near the Erie track
stands in an unrecognizable state.
The tales I’ve been told of our old house are tragic.

The house is empty, a haunted house bears more life.
The sharp contrast cuts like a serrated knife,
shredded, tattered edges and shards of memory
laid to waste and leaving a bitter taste in our mouths.

Generations stacked three high would cry
a collective tear if they went near the Erie track.
In fact, many more would shed when the fact enters their heads
that there’s nobody in the house worth a mention.

I cringe with a strain; a tension winding my spring
until I release and cease to be rational.
A right and traditional home; a suitable sanctuary,
it is scary how quickly it has fallen. It is hard

to imagine a manicured yard and bountiful garden left barren,
I wouldn’t care if the years of my making weren’t taking
their toll on my memory. There is nary a day that goes by
that I do not try to recall her as our domain. All that’s left is pain.

Indeed, she offered us all that a house should, it was good
that warmth and shelter were felt in her embrace.
We played no part in her disgrace; this place is no longer
ours to concern over. We’ve grown stronger in our absence.

I do not venture there anymore. That place,
that house with none of us in it. I do not look back.

Written in response to:

“The House With Nobody In It” by Joyce Kilmer

 

***This poem was featured in my first poetry chapbook, WOOD – poems written for a carpenter father and A Wood Street homestead. More stories of her abandonment cause me to revisit it here!

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