Poem 23 Revised

When it meant something to have an ivy covered house, home

Was the yellow corners of my father’s family album

Worn down with recounting the birth of the youngest, at one a.m.

The death of their smallest, twelve minutes alive,

It was a memoir I hoped to write down in departure

traveling away from here, traveling anywhere

 

When it meant something to have an ancient surname, my house

held the left hand of my mother, the guiding light held tight

Through rooms I knew from her stories, in houses that belonged

to other people now; would see as we were passing through.

Here is where the chair sat that belonged to your grandmother

My mother was forever with her hand in mine, unwinding our family-lore.

 

I filed the grooves in my house key down to the gloss,

Lost the scent of my window boxes and potted flowers.

In the towers casting hand shadows in a window haze

In the crooked cobblestone margins where it meant something

To have an ivy covered house home

Is a moving target.

—ECW

Poem 23 Edited – Poem 23 Original

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