Arts&Culture2, ArtsandCulture, Dec2016
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Sticks and Stones

I dream I am walking through the house.

I wish I could be a ghost, haunting its rafters,

Laughing at little babies learning to crawl.

If only we’d stayed.

If only I’d grown up in the little room with the slanted ceiling,

Jumping on the mattress,

Reaching for the stars,

Tumbling down the stairs

But it’s gone now.

Just dust and dirt.

Like my childhood,

My innocence,

My confidence,

All smashed to the ground in a mess of sticks

And stones that break my bones.

Just once more,

I want that dream house,

The yellow, sunny kitchen,

Claw-footed bathtub,

Graffiti walls

Covered in stickers and growth spurts.

I’d slide down the bannister

Upon which I created a work of art with a safety pin.

I’d snuggle under the covers,

Listening to my parents reading a picture book.

I’d feel the warmth of the sun.

And see the stars

And smell the crushed lilac,

Crab apples,

And chestnuts.

Just once more,

I want to live those summers,

Those autumn school days filled with excitement.

They’re all gone.

Things aren’t as real when they’re only in your head.

That kind of comfort is unreachable now.

It doesn’t exist

And how do I know it ever will

When that house was the only place it ever did?

A house is so much more than wood and nails.

Within those walls we found a home,

Somewhere permanent,

Somewhere safe.

Nowhere else has cushioned my falls

Except those ancient walls.

Our generation was the last.

I should have lived and died there.

I was meant to be the ghost haunting 164 Norton Road.

I should have lived there forever.

 

Don’t feel bad for crying.

It held a truth for you and now that’s gone.

You can cry.

Let it out.

In memory.

Grieve.

 

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