The Most Familiar

Originally published August 12, 2014

When the theme “no where to go” was announced I immediately thought of house poems. So here is mine.

The Most Familiar Where

When inertia weighs on me like stones in a suicide’s pocket there is nowhere to go but home.                                                                    Nothing but to crawl into my childhood bed. Heartsick, exhausted.                                                And hope to feel it’s protectant charm.               The warm, worn comfort of something familiar.

Red bricks, bay window, garden in the back.     A house happily haunted by generations past   and present and near to being.                                     My grandmother’s house is my mother’s, my sisters’ and mine.                                                        The kitchen linoleum is cracked and faded, outdated and far from fashion.                                   I no longer see it.                                                         The ignored, forgotten comfort of something familiar.

I was a child in that house, as was my mother.   She is a woman there, as I am too.                   Even if only to visit.                                                To eat her food at the scrubbed, wooden table on a night with no ghosts.                                    Just dinner and dishes and quiet routine.               The simple, unassuming comfort of something familiar.

My children will know this house- as children, but as women too I hope.                                     And that is legacy. Girls and women.                                                                                       Child, mother, grandmother. And ugly floors.                                                                        Nights when the static of chatter fills every room.                                                                 Gathered to celebrate.                                  Gathered to mourn.                                       Gathered to walk the carpets and lean the door frames of that always known place.                        To share the supportive, embracing comfort of something most familiar.