This House

Think of the energy we put into this house each day. Scrubbing its sinks, vacuuming the headsful of hair that gather in every corner like tumbleweeds. Consider the coats of brights and neutrals you’ve brushed onto every wall, the doorstoppers and screens you’ve replaced, the bookcases we’ve assembled until our thumbs ached. Think of the floor pocks we’ve grieved over after that dinner party where someone’s heel exposed a nail. Those windows that need washing haunt my early waking hours, as does the length of the grass that you’ve nurtured and cut, year after year. The red bud that we raised from a stick is coming along, sure to bloom any year now, rewarding our efforts with the blood red petals I’ve seen already in my mind. When I think I’d like to pick up and start again in some other place with people I don’t know, it’s not the effort that discourages me, not the friends and family I’ll leave behind. I’m ashamed to tell you that it’s this house, the thought of other people breathing and sleeping inside its walls. I want to believe this house cares who’s dusting its broad, lovely banisters, who’s worrying over its drafts.