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Tony Gentry

A Thing They Call a House

Updated: May 17

I came back to this box where we I almost said live. That’s what they are, of course, with holes in the side, through which we sieve.

Has the foundation gone off plumb? Something shuffles in the attic, shadows dart at the edge of my eye. Stale breath from the vents, flits of static. . .

And now it’s too big or probably maybe I’ve shrunk. Imagine the moment you notice the echo your own feet make on the stairs, that hollow thunk.

When do you start to pare it down, put all but one placemat away? When do you leave the shutters drawn and forget the mail and fry an egg for dinner and wear your slippers all day?

Or maybe you think it’s time to leave this box behind and see if you can find one more compact, carpeted, cozy, without all the ghosting features that make you fear for your mind.

I’m sure you never dreamed that I would run into this wall; but then you never had to watch you go then turn and lift the lock to this maze of mocking rooms and narrow halls.

This box so empty it rattles, and blinks and leaks and moans. Weird as a museum when all the crowds have gone, a thing they call a house we used to call a home.

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