Secondary Losses

My parents’ house will be auctioned tomorrow. The cars and contents were sold at a general auction this past Saturday. The neighbor’s house in the second poem went under contract not long after being listed. More letting go–more goodbyes. Peace to our s! (For more poems written after my parents’ deaths, click here.)

Preparing for Auction

The estate
is possession-poor,
its contents
worth little,
says the Rawlings appraiser.
He lists what they’ll take.

We begin
deconstructing rooms,
the remains:
Goodwill, Purple Heart, Junk Dogs.
Boxes, bags, and bins.

We host an
impromptu front-yard
(our payback,
people smiling and laughing,
lugging our discards).

First contents,
then cars, then house will
be auctioned,
years of life and living it
going, going, gone.

House Update: A Few Weeks
Before Auction

learned that
the neighbors
next to my parents
have put their house on the market,
have in fact moved out
and moved on.
Their move

brought my mom
potted plants and cheer
baskets even as she dealt with
her own breast cancer.
I enjoyed

the free sale, took all
the Ace bandages and tied one
around the belly
of their dog,
like a

link to
my parents—
cut. Not a huge loss,
I know, but not nothing either.
More like an owie
that only
a mom

“A Long View”

Growing up, I could look out the kitchen window and see my backyard, the common area, and the neighbors’ backyards; then between their houses to the street and houses beyond; and between those houses to the horizon. A long view that stamped itself on my soul, though I didn’t realize it at the time.

Fast forward to 2005. My husband and I are house hunting, looking to step up from our starter home now that we have three kids and a fourth one in mind (my mind, at least). The home we’re moving out of sits on a hillside. From the living room you can see across the rooftops to another hill much further away, with trees covering its sides and a road winding across the top, where headlights form a pretty procession at dusk. Another long view.

After touring several houses, putting an offer on one, and losing it to a higher bidder, we come across the perfect place. A kitchen island! Attached two-car garage! First-floor laundry! Neighbors we already know from church! Even a gazebo! (Thank goodness we didn’t get that other house!) It has plenty of yard space and sits on the edge of a cul-de-sac, just the thing for kids riding their bikes. In our starry-eyed state, we gloss over several facts: the bulk of the yard is to the side of the house, where there are no windows; the house sits almost at the bottom of two hills; the next house along the cul-de-sac is positioned approximately ten feet from the back porch. We make our offer and are overjoyed when it’s accepted.

Zip along to the present. I really, really long for a long view. It’s a want that feels like a need and is maddeningly saddening at times. But such is life….

 A Long View

This house has fourteen windows and not one
Long view. The kitchen faces siding, white
And blinding on a sunny day, such fun
To gaze upon. A cherry tree’s in sight
Across the fence, but an expanse of green
Is what I’d like to see while standing there.
Out front, tall trees and other houses screen
The view; the road ascends and ends in air.
My eyes stop short when they would rather roam
The far horizon. I'm dissatisfied
But can't, of course, abandon kids and home
To seek a cottage in the countryside.
I live instead on dreams of longer views
And pray my neighbors paint their siding blue.

© Stephanie Malley

NaPoWriMo 2016, Day 23 - Write a sonnet.

Peace to your ♥ and mine!