The skip’s hungry mouth swallowed
my childhood. I fed it my record player,
mattress, black and white TV, teddy bear
that had soaked up girlish tears. As we left,
all the years ran up the stairs, gathered
in the empty rooms to wring their hands.
Silence evicted music and voices, reclaimed
the unfaded spaces where clocks once ticked.
A decade later, I face the house.
The path to the front door is a chasm
of stretched out time and light red-shifts
through the stained glass.
I think of our names in black felt-tip,
scrawled on paper-stripped walls,
the only clue that we once loved
and lived here too.
Karen Dennison won the Indigo Dreams Collection Competition in 2011 resulting in the publication in 2012 of her first collection Counting Rain. Karen is editor and publisher of the pamphlets Book of Sand and Blueshift (longlisted for the Saboteur Awards 2016) where artists respond to poems and poets respond to artworks. https://kdennison.wordpress.com/
“I wrote this poem for an assignment on Christie Williamson’s excellent course, Utopia Island Studio. One of the prompts asked us to think of a severed connection, whether technological, social or personal and I thought of the house where I grew up which has become like a sort of island in my mind.”
You’ve done great job of tackling something that most of us can relate to. Love how you responded with the idea of the house as an island which is now both cut off, but in some ways, I think, always still available in memory. Fine lines – “The path to the front door is a chasm/ of stretched out time … ” Glad to see your poem featured here, Karen 🙂