House

entry picture

A litany of memories litters the rooms, the halls and walls

Here, books in loose piles are stacked from ceiling to floor

The silence is all pervading, nothing looks like it has been moved for years

And yet there is no dust, all seems clean; too clean

 

The rocking horse sits motionless and still, bereft of a grandchild rider

It glances idly into one of the four unused bathrooms, there had to be four

In another room, a piano is playing silent tunes from the past

The ticking clock counts down the minutes and hours, nothing else moves

 

If it were not for Bruno, the two cats, the chickens and sheep

You might not know that anyone lived here at all

Maybe the matching underwear, hanging high on the dangling drier are trophies

Bras and pants, hunted and shot, like the Stag’s head hung in the hall

 

On the landing sepia photos of sports teams tell of previous adventures

In the one working bathroom dangles a David Hamilton print

His Pique-nique lesbian chic hints of less than clean thoughts; creepy

The loofah and bristle brush sit waiting patiently to attend their duties

 

Bowls and mugs and kettles, pots and pans and hand-woven rugs

All these things and more are scattered about, collected and arranged

Tangible yet impractical aide memoires of holidays, shopping trips and desire

Catalogues of time spent, used up, possibly cherished, who can tell?

 

The Aga beats out the only warmth in this catacomb of rooms

It betrays the lie of this dormant domicile – it is not yet dead

The pantry holds enough provisions to sustain a hundred hibernations

There are multiples of this, that and the other; at least two of everything is the rule

 

It seems someone once played “find the hat” they hide everywhere

On shelves, by beds, in cupboards and of course by the window seat

Tin chests are decorated with fake flowers for these will not wilt and die

Unlike the soldiers pierced by the swords that decorate the stairwell

 

 

A contemporary metal cockerel juxtaposes a Jacobian cabinet

A Smithey’s bellows offer temptation to billow into the open fire

The four-poster bed oddly feels like it offers no attraction, or warmth

Something must have withered away under those heavy eiderdown quilts

 

Here reside pigeon-holed lives, catalogued milestones and achievements

Rights of passage recorded and displayed, lest we forget the times once made

A house decorated with ornaments and reflections of what has gone before,

One day, all will be dust, no record will exist, and then what will remain?

◄ Watering Can

Fleeting persistence ►

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