Lawrence Wilson: a poem


House


the house isn't there anymore

torn down for a hospital carpark

the house they struggled, early on to pay the mortgage for

the house they raised five children in

it isn't there anymore


which can't be true

back-door key still on memory's ring

I know exactly how high on the wall

the kitchen light-switch is

I know which stair-treads creak

and how many steps it is

to what was my attic bedroom

now hanging ghostly in mid-air

and the careful, quiet slam you need

to close the bathroom door

I know the golden-brown shimmer 

of the oak floors

just after waxing

I know the shade cast by the elm trees

before the blight cut them down

I know the gas-light burning 

in the middle of the front lawn

surrounded by tulips, and, later, petunias

the garage door so difficult to wrench open the lilacs in spring, the acre of lawn to mow

the white ash tree towering, the apples, the cherries the vast prairie sunsets and the knee-deep winter snow

this corner of the car-park is so remote that no one ever parks here


let me build the house in memory's clapboards a firm foundation and a coat of white paint

I know that the shutters were blue

let's start with those



Lawrence Wilson’s fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in Albedo One, Agenda, GramaryeInk, Sweat and Tears, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Stone, Root and Bone, Best of British, The Poetry of Roses, The Pocket Poetry Book of Marriage, The Pocket Poetry Book of CricketThe Darker Side of Love, on Salon.com and in other journals and collections. His first two collections, The April Poems and Another April, are available on Amazon.