My house is the novel I will never write

all of it’s owners make up the multi-generational element
which make all of the great stories unfold
like a marvelous quilt
red tolstoy patches of here and golden garcia-marquez patches there
the family names of those whose lives began
and ended within the embrace
of these walls
children, now my age, beginning
new lives in homes down
this same street
here is where their beginnings began

this house, for which i have great vision
does not get lost in the shuffle
buried below other projects deemed
for one reason or another
more important a pursuit
at the moment

each night tossing in bed
searching for sleep
and each morning waking
to the same thoughts
of plumbing design
stacks and vents
and framing
square and plumb

and so very much of the daydream
between morning and night, narrated
by a voice
steadfast with devotion and attention
to the craft of what this house will become
with time, touch and tolerance
for the frustration and folly which
will inevitably precede
the refined
product, project, masterpiece
slowly evolving
into home
and so much more than a place
as it fills with memory
dream, joy and pain,
a child discovering language
and treasures, crayons and measuring tapes
the dogs and their hair
and the accumulation
of simple days of a simple life
arranged in a way which make
all of it not perfect, but just right
illuminated in its imperfection
all of its remarkable scars of life

the unfinished 2nd floor
of my house
as it stands today, gutted,
bare studs and rafters
collar ties and haphazard trusses
electrical lines and construction debris
is an outline,
the now solid skeletal system on which
my family’s stories will stretch
like new skin grown over
a reopened wound
reopened in order to heal
the underlying infection
previously ignored and stitched beneath
thin sheet rock, inadequate insulation bats
and vermiculite

reopened and healed,
or at least cured of one family’s infection
another family’s nightmare
and yet another’s wonder
and soon will show no signs
of previous lives, while new
skin is hung over century old
framing lumber, and new wiring
carries current, illuminating life blood
into our lives as we read and write
new chapters of our story within
this newly defined space
and spread new rugs
across aged fir floors
and the creaking which keeps
us connected,
through the soles of our feet
to the past
upon which we build
and re-build
this house which is the novel
i will never write

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