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Monday, December 24, 2018

An Empty House

Photo credit Jody Miller 

Some things are foolish and wrong but you have to do them anyway.

Yesterday I drove past what was the house I grew up in. The house my brother Joe lived in until April, 2018.

Whoever owns it now tore out every living thing from the yard.

The yard was always tiny but it always felt vast. My mother and we jam packed it with life.

Lavender, roses, peach trees, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, mimosa, spruce, maple, rose of sharon, mountain laurel, rhododendron, forsythia, lamb's ear, bergamot, plantain, mint, pumpkins, bleeding heart, lilacs, irises, watermelons.

Moist, tangled, healing, fragrant, storied, delicious. A tiny trip to the Old Country.

You had to snake around all these plants when walking through the yard.

Surrounded by a metal fence my father made; fertilized by Tramp, Artie, and Benjie.

All gone. Yanked out by the roots. surprised they did not pull out every blade of grass.

No curtains in the windows. You can see inside straight through to the far wall of what was once the room where Antoinette, Gregory, and I slept three to a bed. Naked. Exposed, Unloved. Alone. Indecent.

It's just a house, a house where I was hurt a lot, but this hurts almost as much as a death.

A kind person reminded me that another family will move in, and create memories, and enjoy a first kiss, and sing "Silver Bells" with her sister while baking Christmas cookies in that kitchen, and sit, with her brother, in a lilac bush, and look up at the purple flowers beyond to blue sky and realize that life will never offer any better bliss, and ride, in the backyard, on a picnic table, from New Jersey to the Pacific Ocean.


  1. I just finished God Through Binoculars. You are a treasure. Please take care of yourself, and write, write, write.