ode to a stranger’s home

the driveway is cracking to pieces, and the lawn’s more weeds than grass. your world’s slipped past its time now, hasn’t it? and so i’m walking up the stairs, and i’m sifting through the heaps of old books from the seventies. with their glossy covers, and their overzealous promises. my mom would have been a kid back then. the carpet is stained, and the wallpaper is peeling, grape-vine growing in through the ceiling. it’s been a long time since anyone has called this place a home; silverware strewn out on the floor like a secret code. and isn’t it such a shame, that someone could have all this, and still let it crumble to shattered glass and rotting boards of wood? isn’t it a shame that the world will never know what happened in these four walls, down to the very last days? isn’t it a shame that it all looks so small, as i walk through the dew-soaked grass. away.

I’ve had a couple of experiences in the past six months where, by chance, I’ve ended up wandering around old homes. I went to this estate sale a couple days ago, and it was such a weird experience to walk around in this stranger’s home. (The second time was helping move a friend of a friend out of their house–I shot some photos while I was doing it, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever post them.) It just got me thinking. I don’t know if this is something anyone other than me has experienced–but have you ever outgrown your favourite pair of jeans, shoved them in a drawer, and then come across them months later, and suddenly these pants you used to wear every day are unrecognizable? I think that most things in our lives are really like they–they seem more important up close. Even huge things, like houses. And then, suddenly, you’ve outgrown this thing, you’ve left it behind, and it doesn’t feel like yours at all. That’s the feeling I was hoping to capture with this poem.

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