“It’s here, it’s gone. That’s it.”
Letter to my Almost Former House
It’s true, I’m getting ready to leave you.
You’re big and cold and expensive, and like any old lover,
I’ve begun to badmouth you to friends.
Once you were the center of my expanded life,
full-skirted host to my largesse. Display case
for dead aunt breakfronts and thrift store taste.
A cool backyard of Japanese maple and pine,
four types of hydrangea, and family close by. Come in, come in—
I’d coo to neighbors, meter readers, college friends
out from the city. Sorry it’s a mess, though I’d swept
through your rooms like a hurricane. Twice I held
Thanksgiving here, that deadly sin of pride,
and thirty chairs etched scars on your floors.
Now the dining room sits empty. The staircase quiet.
The gaudy bills pile up and the flooding
holds us under. Soon someone else will sit out back
on jasmine evenings, share a cigarette and two fingers
of good whiskey while the kids fall asleep, compare
your century-old body to a big bucket of cream.
by Theresa Burns
from Plume Magazine