Hope and A Desperate Embrace

I slide the shutters open

to let in the morning sun.

These old shutters have rusted,

so they want to stay shut,

but with a little bit of gentle coercion

and no small amount of cursing,

they relent,

and sunlight slices into the room.


This old house,

has not know the presence of a living soul

in a long time.

Almost at the instant we open the shutters,

the house groans,

as if waking.


The rays of July, morning sun,

reveal the motes of dust,

which we have distubed,

hanging lazily in the air,

like welcoming spirits.


I say, “You know, with a little work,

I think this place will be pretty nice.”

You don’t seem convinced.

There are shadows on your face

that exaggerate your doubts,

making them plainly obvious,

even though you’re trying so hard

to hide them.

That and you’re chewing on your thumbnail;

you only do that when you’re worried.


I walk across the room to you

and brush some hair out of your face

and lift your chin so that our eyes meet.

“Hey, don’t worry. This place has great bones

and a solid foundation.

We will be able to build a life here.”


Your eyes betray you again,

as I see the hope enter your mind.

You want this to work as much as I do,

but after everything that’s happened,

you’re not sure about the risk.

“It’s OK.” I say,

and I kiss you and pull you close.


“We will make this work.

It won’t be like before,

I promise.”

You know it is a promise I can’t keep,

but I feel you relax against me,

as if you have given up resisting.


“We will make it work.” you say.

“We have to.”

You squeeze me, hard

and I do the same.

We stand,

holding onto each other

in a desperate embrace

for a little while;



A breeze blows through a window

that was sealed shut for years.

It stirs the motes of dust

into a flurry of bright spirits,

seeming to celebrate and dance around us.

Here, amongst the dust,

lit with splendid morning light,

we will make another home.


The house groans again with acceptance

and we go,

room to room,

opening windows

and scaring up the dust.


HG – 2016

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