My mother collected houses,
and I never really understood the appeal.

Paintings and pictures, photos and prints
lined the walls of the house
she already lived in.
Their outsides firmly ensconced
On the inside.

I looked and all I saw were facades.
Ambivalent exteriors encapsulating emptiness.
I had no space for depth.
No time to imagine houses as homes
Intent as I was to move through the world
without tethering myself to it.

I brought her houses home with me,
more out of a “I don’t know what else to do with them”
than anything else.
They stayed,
holding court in the corner for a time
Until I thought,
‘Hang it all I might as well hang them’
And so I have.

And now I think I’m starting to understand.

I’m drawing into myself the domain where I’ll dwell,
The rooms I’ll inhabit,
bright with sunshine and candlelit darknesses
and a clean wooden kitchen witch feel.
Plants create air in abundance
Surrounding a bathtub large enough for those days I need to go deeper.

With a flick of a brush,
I add a veranda,
a place to sit and while the time,
which is like whittling but less sharp, obviously,
hours go best with smooth edges and a hint of planning.
This summer space where dreams feels tangible in the light of day
And impossible not to believe in by the soft drifting warmth of evening.
A space where skittering paws and barefeet on boards
are tempered by constantly shifting area rugs
And a piano, not just forthright but upright,
which never needs dusting because there’s never a chance for it to settle.

A home tucked in to a night swathed with a canopy of stars and frogsong,
where flowers are free to grow as wild as they will,
as am I.

I’ve become my mother,
knowing that, in order to last,
houses need a rock solid foundation.
So that’s where I’ll start.