Your House

Your House
by Theodora Goss

One day, it may be time
to dismantle your house.

Yes, the one you built so carefully
of brick, remembering the third pig
in the fairy tale, to be storm-proof
and wolf-proof, to stand
for a hundred years. The house
you thought you would retire in,
perhaps die in.

But maybe you found rain
falling from the ceilings, wind
whistling around the rooms,
making the fire gutter. Maybe a hunger
you don’t understand began
gnawing at your belly. Maybe
the house became a coffin out of which
you are desperate to awaken,
like Snow White out of her glass casket.
Maybe the fairy tale ended wrong,
maybe you were, all along,
in the wrong story.
Maybe the house you thought was yours
was not, after all, the one you
could live in.

So you take it apart, brick by brick.
Take down the chimney, take up
the floorboards. Hopefully
someone else will recycle them.
And you set out on your journey,
the one you did not want to make,
the one that is inevitable,
although over the mountains
a storm is brewing,
and the forest, you know,
is filled with wolves.

(The image is Houses at Auvers by Vincent van Gogh.)

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3 Responses to Your House

  1. Katie Hynes says:

    Dear Theodora,
    A perfect poem for me today, as I face turning 70 on Christmas Day, and literally remodeling a room to move my office home on my way to retirement. The storm always passes, and the wolves are sometimes playful.

  2. I’ve divorced twice and it felt like this each time. I wish I had been more conscious in my dismantling at the time, though.

  3. Nancy says:

    Sometimes it is necessary to dismantle, in order to rebuild. Thoughtful poem!

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