Friday, July 19, 2013

The day I drove past my childhood home

I realized I had been avoiding it,
much as I had ‘lost’ contact with people from school,
shunned reunion’s as a rating game to see how you've fared in life,
on this, the day, I found myself in viewing distance
of the house in which I grew up...

I looked at a house that was no longer there
and heard the whisper of children’s voices on the wind...
grown up’s dictating, children obeying, silence when ordered so…
And as more images tumbled over one another in a chaotic mess,
I found myself searching for flashes of happiness,
for regret that I no longer lived there, was 14-years old,
free from any responsibility and looking forward to the rest of my life...
surely they must also be there somewhere?
Had that even lived there, or had it been struck from the record
by too many bleary eyes, apprehension of what will be
and the never-ending state of pretend in which we lived.

…those were the rules of that 14-year old girl:
no use making ties, reject attachments -
much easier than to trying to explain and giving them ammo -
don’t excel, don’t fail, just stay in the field that warrants the least attention,
don’t side, don’t speak out, be agreeable and make peace no matter what.
Yet each time the moon colored the world a happy silver
she felt the shame that wasn't her’s to bear,
bowed under the guilt that wasn't her’s to carry,
and cried for the choices that weren't her’s to make…
Are these the images that remained, even after all these years???

I stare at this house so familiar, yet oddly foreign,
where the color is wrong and the trees have disappeared…
a house that looks like it’s been stripped by heartache and despair,
a garden that’s surrendered to the ravages of nature.
And as I drive away I wonder whether it is the memories that taint this house,
or whether time has simply waged its war and won…


  1. Without words, I'm gonna make some up. Yist iss grately AWWWSOME rryting.

    Shadow, about something we all face either in memory or have PUT ME THERE, back at the old farmhouse--yes, with an "outhouse"--and expressive you are, with only the number of words necessary, none left to bloat your message.

    This is the first and only one I get to read and comment before my day starts wheeling away.
    And I could think of NO BETTER way to begin.

    Sooo GooooD!

  2. returning to those places is not easy...esp considering the strength of those feelings...there is a feel as though something bad happened and confronting that ---oy, not an easy step but one that will hopefully lead to new life for them...perhaps the old emotions have torn away at the house...really well told shadow...

  3. I have found in my search that my memories are only real to me and no one else. Only from my perspective and now I question every day my story and what is worth keeping. Sometimes I rearrange the facts and imagine things were different. It is how I get over the scars I think I have. They too are only real to me and I can decide when it is time to let them go.

    Beautiful post as always.

  4. Pretending...
    How brave we are since we are so young... Life is hard and shows up in old houses too.

  5. Only you can tell a story in less than a few hundred words. Is that really the house?

  6. So many truisms in this, Shadow. I go back to where I grew up and even though it is kept well, I have to struggle to remember how carefree my heart was. Now I just ache sometimes for that feeling. I remember where everything was in that house. I can see it in my head. And sometimes I dream of being back there. Hope that you are doing well.

  7. Facing the past head on can either make us stronger or heap on more regret. You let the reader decide which it is in this post.

  8. To revisit is to linger in the past,
    memories shared, life's changes,
    this magical post conjures the tainted and the true for me.
    Thank you Shadow, well done!

  9. I run away instead of facing demons from my past but somehow they always catch up with me!

    Sometimes we see things that are not there. Memories are all that we're left with in the end.

    Really liked your post! Zee Zoo from Memoirs of an Amnemonic Mind

  10. Burried within oneself is that untold story, which sneaks everytime a glimpse of past is outfronted.
    Sometimes, its scary, sometimes apologetic.