Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bless This House

How do you say goodbye 
to the first house that you and your husband bought? 

The third residence in your life together,
but the first place that truly became a home. 
You painted rooms together. 
You put down roots– and roses. 
You hung pictures.
Your husband built a screened-in porch 
and you both sat on summer nights, listening to the electric hum of the cicadas, drinking wine or eating ice cream and talking of this-and-that. 
You hosted friends– 
hunkered down during storms 
dripped the faucets on cold winter nights,
opened the windows in springtime (and then closed them again once hot humid summer arrived!)
Your husband played guitar
You played piano
You spread your crafts on the kitchen island
You cuddled together in the living room with the lights low
because your husband installed a dimmer switch.

How do you say goodbye 
to the house where you conceived your three babies?
The house that sheltered your storm of grief
when you returned, empty-armed,
from your twin daughters' funeral
The house that sheltered your nervous joy
as you waited the nine long months–
the house that saw, within its walls,
as your son came from your body
and you and your husband heard his cries 
and smiled as he settled into your arms.

It is just a house– perhaps not.
Perhaps more than that– for it has been home. 
And life has been full and rich within, and perhaps–
we'll leave the echo of the tears and laughter, 
the life
the love.

We have a little picture on the wall
"God Bless This House and All Who Enter"
We've taken it down now
But let the blessing remain.

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