This Place Once Called Home

It was a day like no other when you were taking a look outside the window of your living room and you happened to notice me

Outside the tiny gates of your home, fenced on either side by bushes, overlooking the garden, stood there the tiny, humble, me

You see me, I seem respectable enough, not the type of person you see standing idly outside other people’s homes

But here I am, I don’t look lost, am not looking around asking for directions, and you wonder if I’ve somehow mistaken your home as my abode

You might be a little intrigued by my answer. You see, the house you call your home, someday used to be mine

Someday yes, years ago but someday nonetheless, your living room was my own, and as you see me standing there, my heart yearns to take me back, it yearns to…

Take me back to the days of past, when I was younger and the trees were older

 

To the house now lived in by someone else, I once used to sit and wonder

On the rusted swing set, I used to fly, oh the sweet rush when I could just snatch the sky

There wasn’t anything toxic you see, just whistling in my ears and wind on my cheeks

And how could I possibly forget those evenings when summer was just about to come

The air thick with the scent of mango blossoms, the distant cuckoo cry, and the buzzing of dragonflies a constant hum

I would very much like to stop now, for going back to those memories is giving me much pain

But how could I stop without mentioning the dogs that I used to feed and the butterflies that I used to chase

while feeling the brush of unmowed grass on my feet as I frolicked around in floaters, or how my ball almost always used to love the gutter

And my favourite of all, how when it was past bedtime and I would sit at the window and look out at the peaceful garden

Unafraid, unworried, looking outside just because I wanted to, for I believed in the magic of the stories I’d read sitting in that very place when it was bright

I could go back and take a look at this former home and lovers lost if you’d only be kind enough to extend to me an invitation

And I would gladly accept and maybe stay long enough for a cup of tea and some snacks and would tell you all about –

How the trees are older still, and the swing set ever the rustier,

How the mango tree now covers the whole verandah, and how the cuckoo still calls over with glee

I won’t care about making it a song anymore, you see I’m overtaken by indignation

How this place is not my home, but yours…. but I somehow compose myself and make efforts at polite conversation

‘The grass is not overgrown, you’ve taken good care of it I see’, I’d say to you putting down my generous cup of tea

My little beloved crooked home could be in ruins but is doing good thanks to you

The mango tree is artfully maintained, its ever reaching branches now touching the moon

The dahlias are now replaced by some more exotic flowers, the chipped blue paint of yesterday has now turned into a pleasant cream

And my darling old swing set, I thank you for not throwing it away to fend for itself

Yes, I had always believed it had a life of its own, like every other thing in this beloved house of mine, I’m sorry, yours.

The place of my childhood is no longer mine, what was once my personal kingdom is now someone else’s. My proud throne by the window, now yours.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no rancour, I’m happy you found this home, and happier still for this home to have found you

My house, now yours would be busy too, helping you in making your own stories, the mango blossoms blooming for you, and the cuckoo singing for you, and not for me

And if you’re worrying that I would bring trouble, that I’m not as well off as I seemed, that I might perhaps be a bit loony

You’re justified in assuming but need not fear, for I would not mean to intrude you see.

And I’m definitely not loony, just missing what this place used to be

I would want to stay longer, and gaze inside and look what has become of the other rooms

But in doing so I’d be more wretched than I’d ever would possibly be

For I don’t guess I could bear to see my father’s study replaced by yours,

And my mother’s kitchen, now yours

And the rest of it all bearing no resemblance to what I have grown up to be

So don’t take pity and invite me in. I’d be jealous of you, and would almost long to be in your place

Almost, yes, for at the end of the day I would still want to go back to the home now I come from

For this is now just a place that is my home

With my new kingdom and my own trees, dahlias, and cuckoos to sing

And also with my father’s study and my mother’s kitchen

It is just that rusty old swing set, that relic of my childhood that I wish once more to see

Pardon me for I cannot help but wonder, that some other day you would miss this place as much as I do right now

I assure you that I don’t mean you harm, it is confusing I know, and almost funny, ironical may be

How exactly you would miss this place when after some weeks, or months, or years, you would be someplace else and would be yearning like me

 

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10 thoughts on “This Place Once Called Home

  1. reading this post i was taken into past.people who have experience of living in various homes do remember their old residence,but very few venture like this!! i mean except in dream where would one get a chance like this..this was complete flashback.the imageries used are wonderful.i was also expecting the rainfall on mud redolent of childhood plays.

    • I’m glad this made you feel that way. There was no rainfall in this poem, but I made up for it by writing a post dedicated to it. Hope you like that too 🙂

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