on a perfect New England Autumn day,
was the last time I saw the house,
perched on the edge of the planet,
in all her grace and glory,
before they demolished it.
We all knew it was coming.
The time when nature’s pounding would erode the bluff,
wearing away at the land,
until there was no where else for the houses to rest.
When I pulled the wobbly screen door open
and stepped into empty space it froze my soul.
The house had been emptied of all its touchstones.
All that remained,
perhaps all that would truly chronicle the human presence within,
was the patina of marks on the walls, the floorboards and the ceiling.
This painting looks from the main room,
back through the tiny sleeping nook,
through just a razor thin edge of the window,
onto the sun porch,
where beyond, lies the view of Squibnocket Beach.
New nicks, and old, adorn the lintel,
from generations of foreheads which bumped that coop-like low beam,
where a hundred layers of yellow paint,
outlined the symbol of a duck…reminding us to.
All these objects, and a hundred more …
they have been the keeper of our memories.
The sunny days, the stormy nights,
we grew up in that house,
on the bluff,
as she grew old,
and, in her weathered-shingled way,
the things we are made of.