Grandfather’s house

When I look back to childhood
I remember my grandfather’s house;
its smells rancor with age, with
things past slowly settling, slipping
into a grave of forgotten times.
The sweet odor of cooking bacon,
buttermilk biscuits, snuff, and drying herbs;
the seasons changed but the smells remained.
In winter the wind blew a shrill whistle,
drum beating against the clapboards.
Inside was cozy and warm, the iron stove
painting the room in sepia light, yellowed
by the glowing firebox Isinglass windows.
Grandmother in her straight back hardwood rocker,
knitting against its slow rhythmic creak,
slow as the hours that the house held,
rhythmic as the heartbeat counting seconds.
When the seconds ceased they were gone.
The house no longer had a purpose,
its life sucked into the depths of the grave.
Joyless, nonspeaking, life’s sigh silenced,
nothing left but aging memories to speak for it.

©2013, Donald Harbour

 

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3 thoughts on “Grandfather’s house

  1. “The house no longer had a purpose,
    its life sucked into the depths of the grave.”
    Exactly how I feel about my grandparent’s house where I grew up. It is standing empty now for many years but, thank goodness, for the memories. Lovely poem and tribute.

    Like

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