all the places i have lived

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i take a break from the boxes —

the glaring bare walls, growth

 

points, formative life-joints

of this little house on the corner —

 

this little space carved out of time

that could and could and then just couldn’t.

 

i walk under a canopy and over a carpet

of breathing pink petals and think of

 

all the places i have lived;

all the places i have loved.

 

i think of all of the grace-gifts:

 

laughter, love, moments together,

change, pain, pets, work, healing, play,

 

terror, longing, dreams, excitement, story,

music, art, panic, hope, crafting, change.

 

all of this somehow gets turned on its head,

fits into a ten-foot truck, moves down

 

the block and into a new set

of circumstances, circumvented.

 

some things travel well:

 

the cat; the books and

games behaving in their

 

crates; the rolled posters

and padded paintings.

 

other things are stubborn; they do not want to be moved:

 

the great white upright;

grandma’s formal dining table;

 

the parakeet;

the lava lamp.

 

some things cannot be moved, cannot be reinvented:

 

the six years of school days; the child-hood charts &

doodles on the door frames; the fort-corner; the kitchen island;

 

the cave-closet and sacred bathtub and holy dishwasher and

ringo the rat buried in the backyard that goes on forever.

 

i think of where the sidewalk ends, of where this life-span

twists and turns and comes out on the other side.

 

i think about how the next house could be the last one i share with my daughter.

 

i think about the four years of school days to come;

the continuing grace-gifts; the white dogwood

 

in front of the new house; the two white-tailed

deer come to greet us in the back.

 

i think about the marvel of a crucible —

 

how a house, home, heart

can hold so much.

 

upside down

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